SAN LAZZARO OF THE ARMENIANS
‘It smells of cardamom and cinnamon, of oregano, roses, violets, of supple of cypress branches, of exiled nightingales, this rare and priceless jewel’. Thus an Armenian poet described this enchanting island.
A little piece of the Orient, and a gift to us from an ancient culture that affords a tranquil oasis offering peace and quiet.
This small island, sitting in the Lagoon between the Lido and Lazzaretto Vecchio, is completely occupied by a monastery and headquarters of the Mekhitarist monastic order.
The island is one of the world’s prominent centres of Armenian culture. It is home to a wonderful garden, with rows of pine trees and a rose garden of dog roses from whose petals the monks make their famous Vartanush jam to an ancient recipe; a wonderful and exceedingly rare delicacy. The roses are picked at the end of spring just as the sun is rising. The essential oil is bright red in colour and possesses a heady scent. The jam can be purchased only at certain times of the year, and visits to the island are regulated by a strict timetable.