Convento di San Francesco del Deserto

Murano, Burano & the Northern Islands

Franciscan friars offer free tours of their secluded island home, which still retains some of its 13th-century elements, including the first cloister. As this is a place of contemplation, visitors are asked to speak in hushed tones as they are led around the two cloisters and into the serene chapel where St Francis himself is said to have prayed. Best of all are the peaceful, cypress-scented gardens with their dreamlike views of Burano.

It pays to phone ahead to ensure there's a friar available.

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