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Place | Isola di San Giacomo in Paludo


The island of San Giacomo in Paludo is at the centre of the lagoon north of Venice along the Scomenzera Canal San Giacomo, the major artery that connects the historic centre of Venice and Murano and Burano, Torcello and Mazzorbo.


The island has an area of 12,000 square meters, it originally housed a hospital, later turned into a monastery (XI century) that was abandoned in the eighteenth century and finally demolished. Since 1810 the island was used as a powder warehouse until 1961, when it was abandoned in 1993, the Magistrato alle Acque has taken steps to initiate the  restoration of some parts of the island, which nevertheless has undergone, in recent decades a rapid and profound degradation; the degradation, in addition to military buildings, has also affected the wall. Now the island is under license from the State of the environmental association VAS (Verdi Ambiente e Societą).


San Giacomo in Paludo has a quadrangular form emphasized from the brick wall that runs along the perimeter and gives a clear and regular figure.

The island is invested by the constant wave action caused by wind from North-East (the Bora) of up to 80 km / h. These phenomena typical of the Venetian lagoon created such damage that it requires surgery to strengthen and rebuild the embankment wall collapsed on the east side of enlarging the surface and preserving the archaeological remains of a medieval secure degradation.


The buildings are nineteenth-century construction, with the exception of the cavana, artefact of the  seventeenth century. All architectural structures are built in brick with wood trusses.

The three largest buildings, built by the Austrians and the Italians also used as military depots, are arranged with respect to the longitudinal dimension of the island, two horizontally and one vertically. The two horizontal position buildings were used as deposits of gunpowder, and had thick walls 1.50 meters to defend the attacks from fire and explosives.


The third building military depot used for storing equipment had a floor was raised above the ground to prevent that the moisture could attack the army ammunition depots.

In addition to the buildings are three to five meters high embankments, created to protect the deposits of ammunition from the cannon attacks and to prevent the explosion of a powder magazine would inevitably involve the other.


San Giacomo in Paludo it's the only one of the deserted islands of the Venetian Lagoon that is easily accessible using existing transmission lines, and its geographical location in the barycentric system of the northern lagoon makes it a site of primary importance in the management of any initiative for environment, recreational, museum and a place of hospitality.

San Giacomo in Paludo may become the new port of the north lagoon, strategic location and the tourist point of departure for excursions.


The presence of archaeological sites, with wide green spaces, and the fact that the island is located along the migratory routes of some birds can equip it also features bird watching, nature observatory and laboratory teaching.

Buildings on the island have already been used, including the Venice Biennale, as exhibition halls and are suitable for the type and volume of use to a social and collective. This will allow us to reactivate the island, giving new meaning to become a new actor on the stage lagoon.