Venice: Isola San Francesco del Deserto (Video)

Francis of the Desert is a small island in the Venetian Lagoon located between Sant'Erasmo and Burano. It houses a Franciscan convent that originated in 1220 and it is traditionally accepted that St. Francis of Assisi stayed there upon his return from the East during the Fifth Crusade. In 1228 the patrician Jacopo Michiel, who owned the island, in an agreement with Saint Anthony of Padua (1195–1231), put up a church in the name of San Francesco and in 1233 gave the island to the Franciscans, who constructed a convent where they stayed until 1420 when, driven by the island's deterioration, the few remaining friars abandoned it. From 1420 to 1453 the island remained deserted and perhaps the name of San Francesco del Deserto comes from this period. The island and its structures suffered the vicissitudes of history and war, including the Napoleonic repressions. In 1858 Franciscan friars returned and have actively occupied it ever since. The island is not on any public transport routes and can only be reached by motoscafi, or water taxi.

Day Footage - Oct. 07, 2010 
Interior and Exterior 
Videographer - Brandon M. Ortega