San Clemente is a small island about 2 1/2 kilometers from the main part of Venice. It is located between the better-known islands of San Giorgio and Giudecca and is currently almost entirely occupied by a luxury resort.
San Clemente island Venice
The island of San Clemente occupies an area of about 6 hectares. It is almost entirely surrounded by a wall. The only interruption in this wall is on the north side, by a small square in front of the 12th century San Clemente Church.
San Clemente used to be an important connecting point between Chioggia and the ancient city of Altino. It was also a stop on the route connecting Ravenna to Aquilea.
In 1141, both the church and a hospital were built on the island. The latter was intended to serve both the residents of the surrounding islands and pilgrims on their way to the Holy Land. During the 13 century, thanks to various donations, the complex grew into an important place.
After the Camaldolese Order had taken up residence on the island in 1645, the monastery was enriched with various works of art. However, all of these were sold by auction when the monastery was forbidden in 1810.
From 1855 it was used by the Austrian government as an insane asylum for women. This was the first of its kind in Europe. It remained in use until 1992.