The Island of Sacca Sessola

 An artificial island created in 1870, the island of Sacca Sessola has been a fuel store, hospital and since 2015; a luxury hotel and spa resort.





Sacca Sessola, an artificial island created in 1870, has been a fuel store, hospital and since 2015; a luxury hotel and spa resort.

A “sacca” or loosely translated a “scoop bag”, is an artificial island. One of the largest islands in the lagoon at 16.03 hectares; it is situated about 3 kilometres, SSW of Piazza San Marco.

Looking across the Lagoon from the bell-towers of San Marco and in particular San Giorgio Maggiore; one can make the island out very well; beyond the islands of San Clemente and La Grazia.

It was artificially created between 1860 and 1870; in the Codas of Reziol, a branch of the Rezzo Channel; with material dredged from the construction of the Santa Marta commercial port. It has been previously used a fuel store, hospital, farming land and a UNESCO research complex.

Since 2015, the entire island, now houses the JW Marriott Venice Resort and Spa and can be accessed by a private shuttle service, from a jetty close to Piazza San Marco, Venice.  Also known as “Isola delle Rose” (Island of Roses) by the hotel; it is not however, a name recognised by Venetians or on maps.

Other “man-made” islands in the lagoon, are the Sacca Fisola and Sacca San Biagio.



The island of Sacca Sessola – HISTORY TIMELINE

• 1860-1870 – The island was artificially created mainly from dredged materials from the channels of the maritime station and owned by Royal Administration.
• 1875 – The island was given to the city of Venice with an agreement and used for fuel storage.
• 1892 – Decommissioned from fuel storage. Conversion for use as a hospital for contagious diseases was begun.
• 1904 – Some buildings are restored and converted for hospital use.
• 1909 – Works are completed.
• 1913 – Following the end of the cholera epidemic of 1911, hospital buildings were constructed in Romanesque style.
• 1914 – St. Mark’s Hospital for the treatment of tuberculosis was inaugurated. During the First World War the sanatorium remained closed.
• 1920 – Sanitorium reopened
• 1921 – The church was built in neo-Romanesque style.
• 1923 – A leisure pavilion was built.
• 1927 – The City of Venice granted the island a government agency (the future INPS), to oversee the building of a new hospital with 300 beds.
• 1931 – Work began on the construction of new buildings.
• 1936 – The Pulmonary Hospital “Achille De Giovanni“, was inaugurated by King Vittorio Emanuele III to include pavilions, a park, thermal power station, stores, workshops, arecreational club with cinema and a water tower.• 1979 – The Hospital close and thus begins a slow process of abandonment and decay.
• 1981 – The island property is transferred to the Municipality.
• 1992 – The City Council entrusts the island, to the UNESCO International Centre for Marine Sciences and Technology.
• 2000 – The island and buildings, were sold to a multi-national company and converted into a private tourist hotel and spa complex.

A refined recovery intervention plan, designed by architects Matteo Thun & Partners for the American hotel chain JW Marriott, will transform the island into a luxury resort and spa with 206 rooms and suites and a conference centre and function rooms.
Surrounded by gardens and olive trees of great environmental value, the complex will have a spa, indoor, outdoor and suspended swimming pools, several restaurants and bars, a marina house on its private small harbour and a heliport.
The construction of a new water channel has also been planned in the western part of the island, together with the arrangement of green areas and the renovation of a small church.
The complex consists of several interdependent buildings with a total area of 32,000 square meters, comprising new and renovated buildings.
The project covers two main parts of the island, each with its own architectural peculiarities: on the eastern area of the island, the interior spaces inside the buildings which underwent renovation in 2000 will be re-arranged while maintaining the existing structure; on the western area, on the other hand, there are heterogeneous buildings that require interventions of consolidation and major structural works.

• March 2015 – JW Marriott Venice Resort and Spa opens.




Getting There

The “good news” is that non residents are free to visit the island and enjoy its facilities. You may need to raid the “piggy-bank” to partake; but remind yourself of that well-worn saying – “because your worth it!

The private shuttle service for the hotel on “Isola delle Rose”, runs from a landing stage just in front of the Giardini Reali; just a short distance to the west of Piazza San Marco, Venice.

It’s actually an “Alilaguna” boat, rented by the JW Marriot; outfitted in a luxurious light-brown leather and seating around fifty people.

It takes around twenty minutes to arrive at the island, passing by the Hotel Cipriani on the right and the islands La Grazia and San Clemente to your left.

Disembarking you are greeted by a huge pink oleander on the left and a magnolia grove on the right and a terraced path brings you towards the hotel lawn.


Hotel Details

Website: J W Marriot Venice Resort & Spa Amenities

Isola delle Rose, Laguna di San Marco, Venice, 30133 Italy


Rooms, Suites, Residences and Facilities

Two distinct accommodation experiences – The JW and JW Retreats – welcome guests to Isola delle Rose, offering a sense of effortless sophistication, with charming views of Venice or the resort’s lush gardens.

The JW rooms and suites are situated in the main building of the resort. Arrival by boat is a distinctly glamorous experience. For those wanting further privacy, a cluster of residences with their own private gardens, offering an exclusive level of service with dedicated check-in and breakfast at Fiola at Dopolavoro Venezia.

Take a boat across the lagoon to explore the Venetian sights, then retreat to the refreshing tranquillity of Isola delle Rose, occupied exclusively by our resort.

Above: The Olive Gardens with the Neo-Romanesque Church.



Fill leisure time with three pools, a spectacular spa looking out to the Venice skyline, lush gardens and olive groves, cycling and culinary classes.

Dine on our chilled rooftops or in designer sophistication, with Chef Fabio Trabocchi.

Reserve our JW Retreats and seclude yourself completely on our private island.

Left: The main building complex with rooftop dining at sun-down.






Please see my other posts in the series: Islands of the Lagoon




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