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Poveglia Per Tutti

A recent success story is on the island of Mazzorbo, where the derelict Venissa winery

first worked by monks in the Middle Ages was revived in 2002 by the Bisol family, famed for their prosecco empire on the mainland. They found the last vines in the Lagoon from an ancient grape called Dorona di Venezia, which produces wine with a rich golden hue. “Everything that grows in the Lagoon has a special taste,” Matteo Bisol said when I met him at the winery’s small restaurant. “The squid, the fish, the grapes, the vegetables, they are all dolce amaro, bittersweet. Every Venetian can identify the flavor.” Another new winery on Sant’Erasmo Island, Orto, uses the cool offshore waters to cellar its bottles, which end up covered in algae and seaweed.Exotic historical sites are also being saved, most famously a Renaissance-era quarantine complex on Lazzaretto Nuovo. “The very word ‘quarantine’ originated here,” said Ugo del Corso, a volunteer who showed me around the fortresslike structure. “It comes from quaranta, 40, the number of days you had to spend here before entering the city.”
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