The islands lying to the north of Venice – San Michele, Murano, Burano and Torcello – are the places to visit when the throng of tourists in the main part of the city becomes too oppressive; Murano has been a glass-producing centre for hundreds of years, while Burano was once renowned for its lace work. To get to the northern islands, the main vaporetto stop is Fondamente Nove (or Nuove): all of the island services start here or call here.

The islands in the section of the lagoon to the south of the city, enclosed by the Lido and Pellestrina, are scattered over a larger expanse of water than the northern lagoon, but the nearer islands – notably San Giorgio MaggioreLa Giudecca and San Lazzaro – are the more interesting ones. The farther-flung settlements of the southern lagoon have played a significant role in the history of Venice, but nowadays they have little going for them other than the pleasure of the trip.

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