Vignole Island is located north-east of Venice, geographically between the island of La Certosa (a few meters from the Castello sestiere) to the south, and the island of Sant'Erasmo to the north. It consists of two islands divided by a canal and connected by a bridge: the entire western island and the western part of the eastern island have always been dedicated to horticulture, while the eastern side is historically known and recognized as a military area .
A holiday resort that has become a place of agricultural and military interest
Recognized in the past with the name of Biniola or Isola delle Sette Vigne, it was a pleasant Venetian holiday resort: not far from the city center, it allowed residents to move little to obtain peace and tranquility equal to that of a stay in countryside. It was so popular in ancient times that a small church was built in the 7th century in honor of San Giovanni Battista and Santa Cristina, which was replaced by the church of Santa Maria Assunta and Santa Eurosia alle Vignole, probably heir to the first religious building. It is a typical traditional church from the end of the 16th century with a small bell tower, renovated in the 19th century and which today is almost always closed except on certain occasions. Inside it houses an anonymous work representing the Assumption of the Virgin, dating back to the 17th century. With its little more than 50 residents, the western part of the Vignole island has preserved over the years the passion and tradition of horticulture: walking along the various paths you will be surrounded by gardens of any kind, managed by local residents. The eastern portion of the island, on the other hand, is still a military area today: here is the barracks of the Lagunari ("Serenissima" Lagoon Regiment), the only amphibious assault infantry unit of the Italian Army. Established on January 9, 1951, it's the youngest specialty of the Infantry but boasts the oldest history since they are the heirs of the Fanti da Mar of the "Serenissima", dating back to 1202.
The Island of Sant'Andrea and its Fort
To the south of the eastern part of the Vignole island, belonging to the military area, there is a very small island known for the homonymous Fort which houses an important lagoon fortress dating back to the 16th century. It overlooks the northern part of the island of Lido di Venezia and is separated from the Vignole by a narrow canal. The only building on the island was used as a barracks and subsequently subjected to massive restoration works to avoid its constant lowering, given the state of neglect in which it was located. Despite the costs incurred for repairs and to avoid definitive decline, there has never been any decision regarding the use of the fort and the island, now saturated with vegetation, which is currently accessible only by private boats.
How to get there and what to do in Vignole
Vignole Island can be reached from Venice (Fondamente Nove) with the ACTV line 13 water buses. Visiting the island, you will find yourself in a context definitely far from today's Venice, where the traditions and tranquility of the past have never left the place. You will be able to spend a little less than an entire day walking along the paths that make their way between the fields destined for crops, breathing an air of nature that would seem not to belong to the lagoon and that would seem not to be so close to Venice. There are no structures of tourist, historical and cultural interest, except the small church mentioned above, but it's possible to have lunch in the area given the presence of a restaurant on the western shore of the island: you can enjoy a lunch in total tranquility, given the presence of very few tourists, and relax in the large garden with outdoor tables overlooking the Castello district.