By Enza Ferreri
Venetian Lagoon Hotels, Islands, Geography
On this page go to:
- Venetian Lagoon Hotels
- Venetian Lagoon Islands
- Venetian Lagoon Geography and How It Was Formed
- Depth of Venice Lagoon
Venetian Lagoon Hotels
Hyatt Centric Murano Venice is a luxury 4 star hotel overlooking Murano Grand Canal, on the island of Murano in the Venetian Lagoon.
It offers a free shuttle service taking you to/from Venice Marco Polo Airport in 20 minutes and a free fitness center with sauna.
Hotel services include restaurant and bar with views of traditional Venetian-style courtyard with a gazebo, furnished garden and terrace, free WiFi, tea/coffee maker and air conditioning in rooms.
You can take a tour of the Venetian Lagoon by public water bus.
You can choose rooms with canal views.
Rooms and suites sleep up to 4 people, and prices range is 100 – 300 euros per night.
Hotel Rigel is in Venice Lido 15 minutes’ walk from the beach, on the Venice Lido island in the Venetian Lagoon.
Venice is a 15-minute boat trip away by Vaporetto waterbus, which stops near the hotel.
Rooms are air-conditioned and have free Wi-Fi, many have a balcony.
Hotel Rigel is set in its gardens and has parking.
Rooms sleep up to 4 people, and prices range between 40 and 200 euros per night.
Hotel Conterie is in the heart of Murano, just by the Murano Museo waterbus stop, a short trip from Venice and 20 minutes from Marco Polo Airport by water taxi.
Hotel Conterie is in a historic villa formerly owned by glass producers. It has a garden and terrace with outdoor furniture.
Rooms have free Wi-Fi, are decorated in a Venetian style and can sleep up to 4.
Prices range from 50 to 140 euros per night.
Venetian Lagoon Islands
Among the various islands of the Venetian lagoon, close to Venice and easily reachable by boat from Venice, are Giudecca, Murano, Burano and the less-known San Pietro in Volta.
Murano is almost synonymous with glass, having been renowned since the Middle Ages for its exquisite craft of glass making.
Burano is a lovely island with small houses, little canals and mini bridges. Everything there seems to be in miniature, the same impression I had back in England every time I visited the Isle of Wight.
Burano is very relaxing. The lace for the manufacturing of which the island is world famous in the fresh breeze flutters from the shops where it hangs.
The little houses are painted in different bright colours: orange, green, deep blue, red, pink, yellow, purple. Their roof tiles are wavy and made of terracotta. There is a very beautiful, ancient stone-and-brick steeple where grass grows out of its top.
Many international publications and magazines include Burano among the world’s top 10 most colorful cities, although its size is not that of a city.
You can get to Burano from the Rialto Bridge by water taxi (“taxi acqueo” or “motoscafo”) or water bus, a ferry boat called “vaporetto”: the latter is obviously cheaper than the former.
San Pietro in Volta is not a tourist island. it doesn’t resemble Venice, There are no canals, only ancient churches and boatyards. It has a strange, quite unique atmosphere, though. Its main square, with the cathedral, is right by the sea, with the lagoon lapping. People cycle through its cobbled streets.
Venetian Lagoon Geography and How It Was Formed
The media and other sources have largely focused, among possible causes of the gradual subsidence, or sinking, of Venice, on “global warming” and consequent sea level rise because it’s the most orthodox, fashionable and, frankly, simplistic explanation. In reality the causes are considerably more complex than that, and require an understading of the present geography, geological history, and human history of this unique, both enchanting and very difficult habitat: the Venetian Lagoon.
The Venetian Lagoon is a large, shallow body of water in the Veneto region of Italy at the northern end of the the Adriatic Sea, from which it is separated by a narrow strip of sand, the barrier beach called “Lido”, and other embankments. The Italian word “laguna”, from which the English “lagoon” is derived, has given the world the name for an enclosed, shallow inlet of salt water.
The Venice Lagoon is the largest wetland in the Mediterranean. It extends over an area of 550 square kilometres, 8% of which is occupied by land, including Venice and many smaller islands.
Lagoons, formed by rivers and sea, are fragile, unstable interactions of salt water and fresh water, high and low tide, settling of matter and inflow of liquid.
The rivers Piave, Brenta, Sile, Bacchiglione, Dese, Musone, Marzenego for centuries have been carrying enormous amounts of sand and rubble from the mountains and depositing them into the sea, eventually giving rise to the Lido and other sandbars parallel to the coast that now separate the Venetian Lagoon from the Adriatic, with the 3 inlets of Lido-San Nicolò, Malamocco and Chioggia, called “bocche di porto”, connecting it to the open sea.
A lagoon isn’t the most practical, suitable place to found a city. Venice has been variably described as sitting on a “pudding penetrated by watery channels” by architect and Venice expert Wolfdietrich Elbert and on a “giant sponge filled with water”.
The Venetian Lagoon was formed about 6,000 years ago, in the mid Holocene. At the acme of the Last Glacial Maximum the Veneto region, where Venice is, was very far from the Adriatic shoreline. The area was then made up of a vast river floodplain, part of what is today the Pianura Padana (River Po Valley), thus making the latter much larger. When, at the end of that glacial period, the climate became warmer causing the melting of the continental glaciers, globally the sea level started to rise fast. The north Adriatic coastal plain got flooded and became the Lagoon we know today.
That was a real global warming. Throughout its history, the earth has repeatedly experienced major cycles of glacial periods followed by interglacial periods, which are intervals of global higher average temperature lasting thousands of years and separating consecutive glacial periods. We are now in the Holocene interglacial, following the Pleistocene, the last glacial period, that ended circa 11,700 years ago and began about 2,588,000 to 1,800,000 years ago.
Correspondingly, during glacial periods ice-sheets grow and during interglacial periods they retreat: this has happened many times in the past. Our understanding of the earth’s climate is still limited, but is growing and it offers us a long geological background against which to compare the present global climatic conditions. The claim that the 1990s were the warmest decade of the past millennium is highly problematic in the context of these historical temperatures. This claim was supported by the infamous “Hockey Stick” graph created in 1998-1999 by Michael Mann, that was exposed and discredited for using critically flawed statistical methods. The famous graph which became a symbol of the threat posed by global warming exaggerated the rise in temperature because, according to the head of the Royal Statistical Society, it was produced by employing “inappropriate” methods.
Marcott et al, in an essay published in 2013 in the leading scientific journal Science, said: “Our results indicate that global mean temperature for the decade 2000–2009 has not yet exceeded the warmest temperatures of the early Holocene (5000 to 10,000 years ago).” In plain words, in ancient Egypt’s time the world was warmer than now.
Depth of Venice Lagoon
Since its beginning, the Venetian Lagoon has continuously been circulating and mixing with the sea due to twice-daily tidal fluxes. This has produced a very dynamic environment of deposition with a constant fluctuation in the distribution of the main sedimentary components that make up the upper 5 metres: salt marshes, mudflats, lagoon sediments, and meandering tidal channels.
Under Venice are several layers. Those just mentioned are the uppermost and thinnest layers, on which Venice was built. Below them is a 1-to-2-kilometre-thick layer of river sediments. These fluvial deposits are slowly compacting, therefore getting denser and decreasing in volume. Due to the twice-daily tidal flows, the channels’ movement erodes and re-works the sediments. While the shallower channels re-work the upper lagoon salt marsh and mudflat sediments, the deeper channels erode the pre-lagoonal floodplain that existed before the arrival of the rising Adriatic Sea to the Veneto region, thus increasing the water at the expense of the solid matter. Therefore, what lies in the depths below is particularly pernicious to Venice.