Giudecca, Lido & the Southern Islands

The most evocative of Venice's southern islands are tiny specks capped with monasteries such as San Servolo, San Lazzaro degli Armeni and (especially) San Giorgio Maggiore, its gracious Palladio church forming the essential backdrop for dreamy lagoon views. The much larger crescent of Giudecca has its own Palladian masterpieces and is a fascinating mash-up of luxury hotels, workaday apartments, the remnants of industry and a still-functioning women's prison. Lido is Venice's 12km beach escape, its A-list film festival a hangover from its days as one of Europe's most glamorous resorts.

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