Poveglia is the most extended island among the small ones in the southern lagoon of Venice. It consists of three close islets shaped like a truncated pyramid.
The compound in question (lot 1) consists of an islet connected through a bridge with the wider part of the island; it is entirely undeveloped and occupied by gardens and uncultivated land.
In ancient times Poveglia was called Popilia, probably because of its vegetation (from the Latin word populus “poplar”) or its proximity to the main street Popilia-Annia, built by the consul Publio Popilio Lenate. In the maps of the 16th century the island is also named Poveggia. Together with the district of Malamocco in the Lido island, Poveglia was one of the first settlements in the lagoon.
Its history begins in the 5th century, when following to the barbarian invasions people from Padua fled there. In the year 874, after the Doge of Venice Pietro Tradonico had been assassinated in a conspiracy, by decision of his successor Orso I Partecipazio his servants and slaves were confined in Poveglia with the right to use the castle, the vineyard and the saltworks then existing on the island.
According to some sources, the famous painter Giorgione was buried in Poveglia in the year 1510; however, this information is not confirmed.
Poveglia was a thriving centre, both in terms of population and of the economy, and its decadence was caused by the War of Chioggia, when its population was evacuated to Venice.
Over time the island’s shape has significantly become smaller due to storm surges and lack of barriers. Nevertheless, according to the cadastral maps, the current shape is about the same since the 19th century. With its area of 7,25 hectares, it is a rather large island in the lagoon. The most extended part of it has 11 buildings.
According to sheet 30 of the General Development Plan, the only permitted use is agricultural. Earthworks are not allowed, except for those needed for ordinary or extraordinary maintenance and reinforcement of the levees. It is also allowed to make technological systems, paths in draining materials and greenhouses.
The compound is situated in the southern part of the Venetian Lagoon, in front of Malamocco, a district of the Lido Island. The Poveglia Archipelago is bounded to the north-east by the Canal of Santo Spirito, to the north-west by the Canal of Poveglia and to the south by the deep Canal of Malamocco.
Thanks to the short distance from the port mouth of Malamocco, Poveglia enjoys a privileged location, being easily accessible for the boats arriving from the open sea. Moreover, the surrounding urban fabric is equipped with various infrastructures, including the two main railway stations Venezia Mestre and Venezia Santa Lucia, the highways Venice – Milan and Venice – Trieste, the ports of Venice and Chioggia and the airport Venice Marco Polo.