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An island with many names: Nicolò della cavana/ Madonna del Rosario/ Madonna del Monte

The lagoon of Venice is surrounded by numerous islands, many of which were originally entrusted to the Benedictine order.

A couple of the islands, San Giacomo in Palude and Madonna del Monte, on the route between Murano and Burano no longer show traces of their ancient splendor. In more recent times they were used as gunpowder deposits due to a Napoleonic decree passed in the beginning of the 19th century.

Although both islands are in a state of disrepair, the conditions of Madonna del Monte are worse.

The brick walls of the gunpowder deposit on Madonna del Monte island


The island was once called San Nicolò della Cavana, better well-known today as Madonna del Monte, it is easily recognizable by the brick structure of the gunpowder deposit that is still standing. (see picture above and below)


Madonna del Monte today


In the beginning of the 14th century the island served as shelter for pilgrims and for those who went to the neighboring islands. Those who stopped on the island were welcomed by the Benedictine nuns, a small group of four women, who depended on the nearby island of Mazzorbo.

When the nuns died, the monastery was abandoned and the place turned into a swamp.


Between 1600 and 1700 the island was sporadically inhabited by hermits with the consent of the Benedictine nuns of Mazzorbo. In the meantime a new church was built, and it was called Madonna del Rosario.


After becoming seat of a powder magazine, the island was abandoned forever and today it is still in a banned state waiting for someone to intervene to re-evaluate its aspect and its surrounding area.



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