San Giorgio Maggiore

Some of you may have happened, while traveling in Venice, to take a picture of the marvelous view in front of St. Mark’s Square and admire from there, in the bright  “bacino of St. Mark’s,” the islands of Giudecca and San Giorgio Maggiore.

The island of San Giorgio Maggiore is the smaller of the two is a magical and silent place, far from the tourist routes Formerly called “the island of cypresses,” San Giorgio Maggiore is one of the richest islands in the history of the Venetian lagoon, The history of this island is very old and troubled, going from the Benedictine monks to the Napoleonic domination to the Austrian domination. And what was once a monastery became a prison then an arms depot, factory and military district. Located right in front of St. Mark’s, a mill once stood there, owned by the Doge, over the years the island became the site of an important Benedictine monastery but undoubtedly owes its fame to the Renaissance basilica of the same name designed by Palladio. Where Vittorio Cini decided to place the Foundation dedicated to his son Giorgio, who died prematurely, The Cini Foundation, has taken charge of the recovery and preservation of the immense artistic and historical heritage that characterizes the island. Over time, the Foundation has become a multidisciplinary cultural institution of international importance, stimulating virtuous tourism on the island through the creation of a reception system with as many as four exciting guided video itineraries.

San Giorgio is easily reached from Giudecca by vaporetto. The visit begins with a climb up the Bell Tower of San Giorgio, which, offers a truly unparalleled panoramic view of the city and the lagoon. From here we move on to visit the Historical Library, which together with the Marciana is the most important in Venice, where 15th-century  manuscripts by Benedictine monks are preserved.

We continue by visiting the two magnificent cloisters inside the monastery, which precede the Borges Labyrinth, a fascinating reconstruction of the garden-labyrinth built by architect Randoll Coate in honor of the Argentine writer. The 1150-meter-long labyrinth is composed of 3250 boxwood plants.

All video guides work with ” Touch ” technology capable of creating a truly unique experience for the visitor with special content such as photos, videos and original interviews. For a gourmet break, it is possible to stop at the San Giorgio Café, the new refreshment area wanted by the Cini Foundation. For some time now, the “Giorgio Cini” Professional Institute for Maritime Activities has no longer been active: currently, in part of the complex that housed the nautical school and after an elegant restoration, the Venice Sailing Company’s Sports Center of Excellence, with its sailing school and related events, is housed,