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It is assumed that the island, since ancient times, had an important strategic function to control the waterways towards the hinterland, which in Roman times went from Ravenna to Altino. Archaeological findings demonstrate the presence of man in the area since the Bronze Age, while the first official public act dates back to 1050 and calls the island "Vigna Murada".

The property of the island was, from the end of the eleventh century, of the Benedictine monks of San Giorgio Maggiore who erected a place of worship dedicated to San Bartolomeo; the island was surrounded by salt pans and the largest salt producer in the northern lagoon was the island of Torcello.

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