In 1978 two Venetian men in their mid twenties rowed around the lagoon of Venice, photographing all the abandoned islands there. The result was a book with photographic documentation of the state of abandonment of each island.
Recently, some thirty years after, the book has been republished, now with a English parallel text and some recent pictures of some of the islands. Some islands are in a better state, but others are much worse.
As a frequent traveller in the lagoon this book was a must have, and I bought it a few days ago.
Many of the islands in the book are places I have been many times, and as recently as this week I have been to S.Giacomo in Palude, Lazzaretto Novo, Sant’Ariano and La Cura, taking my own photos of the state of disrepair or recovery of each. As a historian it is very hard not to be intrigued and curious about the ruins and the past of these islands, and this book is a great help in understanding why the islands are like the are now.
Here are a few picture I’ve taken in the last week from some of the islands (left to right: S.Giacomo in Palude, La Cura and Sant’Ariano):
I still haven’t read it all. Many of the texts are reproduced from old descriptions of the lagoon islands, mostly 19th century texts, and the Italian is quite hard to read. The English text is a lot easier, but it feels almost like cheating 🙂
The book is:
Isole abbandonate della laguna veneta
The Abandoned Islands of the Venetian Lagoon
by Giorgio and Maurizio Crovato,
London (San Marco Press Ltd), 2009 (orig. 1978)
Ten percent of the price will go a Venice related charity, depending on where in the world the book is bought. In Italy the money goes to the association that takes care of the Lazzaretto Novo island, which has been recuperated and restored since the first edition of the book.