San Michele Cemetery

San Michele Cemetery

The islet of San Michele is a bit out of the way for tourists, yet it is a stone's throw from Venice. The entire island serves as Venice's only cemetery. There's simply no room in the city, so all the dead go to their final resting place here.

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The rectangular shaped island of about 400x500 metres is completely surrounded by a wall, so from the outside it looks a bit mysterious, but in reality it is a beautiful spiritual place that is definitely worth a short visit.

The growing island of San Michele

Being the only burial site in historic Venice, the Isle of San Michele is being artificially expanded over time to at least partially cover the need. Isola di San Michele was first used as a cemetery in the 15th century and continues to serve its purpose today.

The most recent expansion of several hundred burials occurred in 2013.

The architectural beauty of the island

Visit the island of San Michele not only for its spiritual tranquil atmosphere, but also for its architectural gems. In particular, the Church of San Michele from 1469 with its beautiful white tavertino façade is worth a visit, among other reasons, because it is the first purely Renaissance building on the island.

The monumental and costly tombs of famous and wealthy people are also worth noting. After all, burial on San Michele is a very costly affair due to the lack of space and the specificity of the island, and nowadays only the richest can afford it. Thus, most of the ordinary inhabitants of Venice are buried in the traditional cemeteries on the mainland of Mestre.

Opening hours and entrance fees

There is, of course, no entrance fee to the cemetery.

It is open daily between 7:30 am and 6:00 pm.

Location and transport

San Michele lies about 1 km from the historic centre of Venice and the island of Murano. To get here by the regular vaporetto (water bus) lines, get off at the "Cimitero" stop, where lines 4.1, 4.2, 12 and 13 stop.

Timetables for all these routes can be found clearly on the website:

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