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Landscapes and Architecture

The abandoned walled Island of San Giacomo in Paludo, Venetian Lagoon

The abandoned walled Island of San Giacomo in Paludo, Venetian Lagoon

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The abandoned walled Island of San Giacomo in Paludo, Venetian Lagoon

San Giacomo in Paludo is a little island surrounded by a brick wall. It is one of those places that make you wonder what hides behind the wall. In the past this abandoned island housed a monastery for pilgrims. Thanks to its position and to its connection with the East, Venice became a very important port for those searching for a passage to the Holy Land. Venice then, like today, had to cope with thousands of visitors and had a very well organized system to support pilgrims arriving in town. People named Tholomarii, sort of tourist guides of the past, were there to help pilgrims to orientate and to find a place to stay, food and a ship passage. In 1255 the Venetian Government even had to regulate the profession because of a lot of unauthorized people who were trying to cheat the poor pilgrims – nothing different from today. To host all these people the town planned a lot of monasteries on various Venetian islands: S. Clemente, S. Maria delle Grazie, Lazzaretto Vecchio and S. Giacomo in Paludo.

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