Sant’Erasmo, an island where time seems to have stopped

An island, not far from the campsite, that worth for sure a visit is Sant’Erasmo, especially if you love cycling and discover less-known places far from tourist attractions. Here our suggestions to plan your visit and discover this island, where time seems to have stopped.

How to go

You can easily get to Sant’Erasmo by a 20-30 mins boat ride from Treporti. Take line 13 ACTV (available all year long) and take your bicycle on board! You will need it during your trip…

Good to know

  • After Venice, Sant’Erasmo is the biggest island of the Venetian lagoon, long more than 4 km and narrow between 500 meters and 1 kilometer. Here the view on the lagoon is amazing: you can admire from one side the islands of Burano and Lazzaretto Vecchio from other one the islands of Vignole and Murano, but also the coastline of Cavallino-Treporti and Lido di Venezia
  • Today really few people live there (around 800), mainly devoted to agriculture. The island is in fact traditionally known as the “vegetable garden of Venice”, built by the Serenissima to cultivate fresh fruits and vegetables. Nowaday Sant’Erasmo is famous for the cultivation of artichokes (remember the “castraure” and the “carciofo violetto”), thistles and asparagus, but also for the wine production, that once took a large part of its activity
  • Sant’Erasmo is one of the few islands of the Venetian lagoon where it is allowed to drive cars, even if only residents can do it. In fact the island is not connected to the mainland by a ferry boat service and vehicles are brought to Sant’Erasmo with large boats called “Topo” and stay there as long as they are usable
  • Because it’s sparsely populated, in Sant’Erasmo you can find only a minimarket, a bar-pizzeria, a restaurant, a guesthouse, a church and an elementary school: here dominate vegetable gardens and vineyards, the real beauty of this island.

What to see

  • Take line 13 ACTV from Treporti and get off the waterbus at “Capannone” stop
  • Take Str. Vicinale dei Forti for about 1 km. This road will take you to the beach of the “bacan” where the Venetians, by boat, traditionally go for a swim
  • On the way you will see on the right the island of Vignole. Further on you will find the Massimiliana Tower, an Austrian military fortification, which has remained the only example still existing in Italy. Restored and open to the public in 2004, the tower currently hosts art exhibitions and cultural events
  • From the Massimiliana Tower follow Via dei Forti for about 3,5 km along the wildest part of the island. On your right, a wonderful view on the coastline of Cavallino-Treporti from Punta Sabbioni to Treporti will accompany you
  • At the end of Via dei Forti, take Via de le Motte for around 500 meters until “Punta Vela” vaporetto stop: in front of you, you will see the small and peaceful island of San Francesco, home of a Franciscan monastery
  • From Punta Vela, ride your bicycle along Via de le Motte for about 1,5 km towards the Church of Cristo Re, erected in 1929 and take a look at the church
  • Close to the Church of Cristo Re there is the waterbus stop “Chiesa”. From there you can take the line 13 ACTV to come back to Treporti, otherwise you can ride back to the stop “Capannone” (about 2 km) and take the waterbus from there.

Festivals in Sant’Erasmo

During the festivals, Sant’Erasmo becomes a lively village that attracts many visitors.

  • The festival of violet artichoke (Festa del carciofo violetto), on the second Sunday of May. On this occasion at the Torre Massimiliana you can taste and buy local products as artichoke-based dishes
  • The Feast of Christ Re (Festa di Cristo Re), patron saint, on the first Sunday of June, at the village square
  • The must festival (Festa del mosto), the first or second Sunday in October. Here the protagonist is the “torbolino”, a little sparkling and sweet wine, made from white grapes and not totally fermented.

Now that you know more about Sant’Erasmo, are not you curious to visit it?