Belle Isle is the only “natural” island on the Venetian Causeway. We know the other Venetian Islands — Rivo Alto, DiLido, San Marino, San Marco and Biscayne — were dredged, filled and linked with the roadway between 1923 and 1926.
Our latest postcard find (thanks, eBay!) shows Rivo Alto in the foreground, Belle Isle, and the western edge of Miami Beach with Carl Fisher’s classic Flamingo Hotel.
You can see that most of Rivo Alto is open space, though the streets and a couple of homes have been built.
Compare the postcard view to the above early 1930s photo of Belle Isle, taken from the north facing south, which also shows the Flamingo. This is from the Florida Memory Project, subject of an earlier blog post.
Finally, here’s a 1923 photo from east to west that shows Miami Beach, Belle Isle, and a sandy and vacant Rivo Alto as the only island along the Venetian Causeway path.