Cimitero di San Michele

Cemetery in Murano, Burano & the Northern Islands

Until Napoleon established a city cemetery on this little island, Venetians had been buried in parish plots across town – not an ideal solution in a watery city. Today, goths, incorrigible romantics and music lovers pause here to pay respects to Ezra Pound, Joseph Brodsky, Sergei Diaghilev and Igor Stravinsky. Pick up a map from the information point near the entrance and join them, but be aware, the map pinpointing of the famous graves isn't accurate.

Architecture buffs stop by to see the Renaissance Chiesa di San Michele in Isola (open on weekday mornings), begun by Codussi in 1469, and the ongoing cemetery extension by David Chipperfield Architects, including the already completed Courtyard of the Four Evangelists – a concrete colonnade with basalt-clad walls engraved with Gospel quotes.

Note, this is a still functioning graveyard and Venetians are constantly dropping by to pay their respects to their loved ones buried here. Hence, photography and picnics aren't permitted.