In ancient known as "Lido Bovense" or "Lido di San Nicolò" (Olivolo or Lido di Rialto, or simply, Lio), was restricted to the south from the port of Malamocco, then buried (now the same name is given to the port of Alberoni) .
Since 1053 in the northern part stand the Benedictine abbey erected to preserve the remains of St. Nicholas, patron saint of sailors. Not far from the church, a small plot was assigned since 1389 the Republic of Venice to the burial of the Jews (of considerable interest, is now restored and made visits).
While Malamocco was one of the main centers of the Lagoon (but a terrible cataclysm, perhaps a tidal wave, the decay was in the twelfth century), the northern part was never much inhabited. Only in the seventeenth century saw the development of a new town around the church of Santa Maria Elisabetta, but still in the middle of the nineteenth century the island was a field planted with orchards. Also for this was much appreciated by poets and writers, who chose as the destination or residence (remember George Gordon Byron and Thomas Mann).