San Francesco del Deserto Island Venice

The San Francesco del Deserto (“Saint Francis of the Desert”) Island in Venice is located between Sant’Erasmo and Burano. It has been held, with a long interruption, by the Franciscan Monastic Order since the 13th century.

San Francesco del Deserto Island Venice

San Francesco del Deserto island - monastery
Entrance to the convent

The San Francesco nel Deserto Island was inhabited early on. Traces of Roman settlements dating back to the 1st to the 5th centuries have been found.

The history of the Franciscans on the island begins in 1220, when Saint Francis, on his way back from the east, stopped there. According to legend, upon his arrival, the swallows began to sing spontaneously.

In 1233, the island was donated to the Franciscan Order by Jacopo Michiel.

The current name dates back to the first half of the 15th century, when the monastery was abandoned due to the unhealthy climate on the island.

Later the Austrians used it as a storage site for gunpowder.

In 1858, the island again came into the hands of the Patriarchate of Venice, which returned it to the Franciscans.

Address, opening times and entrance fee

The island can be reached by vaporetto line 13. Monastery opening hours: From 09.00 to 11.00 and from 15.00 to 17.00. Closed: Monday. Entrance fee: Donation.

San Francesco del Deserto Island, Venice

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