There is a plaque on the wall, who tells in brief the history of the place:
“This place until the 1923 was deserted and malarial. With twenty years of work, the Prof. Alberto Graziani, an hygienist of Padua, reclaimed and redeemed it transmitting the result of his fruitful work to the Sisters of Magdalene of Canossa. 1941”
The Colonia “Mater Dei” is located in Pellestrina, one island of the Venice’s Lagoon, and can be reached by ferry from Chioggia or from the Lido of Venice. The island of Pellestina, until 1923 was deserted and malarial. With a twenty-year-old opera, prof. Alberto Graziani, hygienist in Padua, reclaimed and redense it, transmitting the fruit of his fruitful work to the daughters of Maddalena of Canossa in 1941.
The Sea Colony “Mater Dei” of the Canossian Sisters was built in the 1930s on behalf of Professor and Doctor Alberto Graziani in the Ca’Roman Oasis. For many scientific and social merit, the doctor had many official awards and honors, with diplomas and gold medals. The professor saw this piece of land as the perfect place to “isolate” and “internate” his own patients, and a safe area for the children. However, the area where he decided to build wooden shacks was completely inhospital, wild and with little chance of having drinking water. The project, despite these problems, above all continues thanks to the help of Pietro Rosso, a man defined by Graziani as a tool of divine providence. Therefore it happened that the Colony shortly afterwards began to welcome up to 300 children every year on its private beach, about 30 girls from 12 to 15 years and about 120 mothers with children. In 1966 there was a big flood, and the Colony was destroyed and subsequently reconstructed by some benefactors. A few years ago, the sisters decided to sell the whole lot to a real estate company that would have to turn everything into a luxury residence. A project that was only a dream, because now this area is in disastrous conditions. After the end of the war in 1918 the escaped danger of the loss of Venice, pushed the military authorities to reduce the importance of the Arsenal in favor of the safest bases of La Spezia and Taranto. And this is the reason because the military function of the truncated field of Mestre (which structures were progressively transformed into barracks, pulverizes and warehouses) was reduced, until the definitive abandonment in the 1980s.