The land was given to the Jews in perpetuity for the purpose of burial in 1386, in a period when the relationship between the Jews and the Serenissima was becoming more organic and formalized.
Since the end of the 1700s it was abandoned on an almost deserted island. The sand accumulated carried by the winds. The wild vegetation invaded and covered the cemetery grounds.
When, during the course of the 19th century, a new cemetery was opened in an adjacent area, and the Lido was urbanized, the excavations revealed many graves long hidden from sight. The tombstones are reunited on a small site in the old cemetery, once again enclosed. Many stones have lost their original place, and the many Jewish ônations,ö once distinct, now find themselves strewn together in the entrance area (originally reserved for the Sephardim) facing towards Venice.
On the 5th of June 1998 restoration began and it concluded with the inauguration on the 13th of October 1999.
Among the illustrious graves there is the one of the Rabbi Leone da Modena, a great teacher and writer, but addicted to gambling, who died in poverty in 1648. There is the gravestone of Elia Levita, grammarian of the 16th century; and the one of Sara Copic Sullam, poet and the guiding spirit of a literary salon in the first half of the 17th century.