Its not hard to find the fish market - the smell will draw you to it!. Located by the main Canal running through Chioggia - entrance is through this archway. Full of local colour - we manged to catch it just before they were closing up for the morning and we saw an impressive selection of fish.
Corso del Popolo is the heart of Chioggia and to locals it has the same meaning as Piazza San Marco for the Venetians. In the sunday morning it is very vivid place, overcrowded by the both locals and visitors. Locals who attended sunday's mass, meeting friends or chatting in one of the numerous cafe bars. For the visitors it is sights from where they start exploring this small but very cute place.
There are four chanels inside the city area and among them Canale Vena is the most attractive. It goes right throughout the central part of the city, parallel with Corso del Popolo, and ends by Ponte Vigo. The chanel is full of very pitoresque local styled boats, coloured in vivid colours. Canale Vena reminds me alot on chanals I have seen in Burano.
The church of San Domenico Confessore is the only important sight of Chioggia which is situated out of Corso del Popolo. It sits on its own island, called Isola del Cantien, situated on the top of Canale San Domenico.
The church contains one of the Chioggia's greates treasures, "St. Paul" by Carpaccio his last recorded painting. There are also works by Tintoretto and Bassano inside the church. Along with valuable works of art church contains numerous "tolele", naive art made by the locals.
According to the church guide, venerated wooden crucifix is the oldest in the world. That reminded me on the same statments I could hear in some other places, I wonder how many "the oldest" could excist?
Just to the right of the Vigo Column is the Vigo Bridge. This bridge forms the balcony of the town and the most artistic of the eight bridges crossing Chioggia's Vena canal - it is the equivalent of Venice's Rialto Bridge. It ws built in 1685 to replace a bridge of wood on which harsh fights occurred during the war of Chioggia (1379 -1380). Originally a masonry bridge, it was adorned with marble from Istra in 1762. In the past, a light used to be placed on it as an orientation signal for the mariners.
Corso del Popolo ends with Piazzetta Vigo, probably the most attractive spot in whole of Chioggia. There is small but magnificent marble bridge which looks alike to smaller version of Rialto in Venice. From Ponte Vigo burst perfect view at the whole of Chioggia lagoon and Canale Vena on the other side. Don't miss it.
As you arrive at Chioggia via the ferry one of the first things to see is the Vigo Column.This column was discoverd in 1763, during the excavations for the reconstruction of the bell and clock tower of the Old City Hall. Carved in greek marble, its holds a Byzantine capital of the 12th century, with lion of St. Mark on the top, which is popularly called "the Cat". The then mayor G. Mussato had it placed in its present site in 1786.
From the vaporetto stop, head forward a few steps, and to your left is a bridge-Ponte Vigo. The small square is Piazzetta Viga. Look for the much maligned 'Cat of San Marco' -it's the lion at the top of the column. The street in front of you is Corso del Populo, which is the towns main street.
Three other 'main' streets run parallel to this, ( Fondamente Canal Lombardo (to the right), Fondamente della Vena, and Fondamente San Domenico (to the left) and they are connected by narrow streets, (that are set in a 'herring bone' pattern) and bridges that cross the towns three canals.
Canal Lombardo is to the right of Corso del Populu. Canale San Dominico is to the far left, and Canale Vena flows parallel to the Corso, and is probably the most picturesque.
The town maintains its Roman origins, of its grid like town plan. Town Map
Cross Ponte San Giacomo, to reach the islet and busy fishing harbour, with its colourful boats, and frantic fish auctions
So, it is probably easier to find your way around Chioggia, than Venice.
Enjoy wandering up and down the narrow streets, some are through arch ways, there are lots of surprises too! Balconies with colourful plants, washing drying in the sun, children playing football or roller blading, a hidden 'shrine', locals enjoying a chat from their windows. Men playing cards in the harbourside bars, fishermen mending nets or unloading their catches, the bustle of the fish market/ auction house, and the passegietta the evening stroll, where locals of all ages promenade up and down the main street. Catch the sunset over the lagoon.
I particularly enjoyed the reflections of the buildings and sky of Canale della Vena.
Chioggia, a lively, busy seaside town that has a history oozing out of each stone. It has a very unusual appearance: Its alleys or 'calli' radiate outwards from the main square in classic herring bone structure.
If you are visiting Chioggia during a Sunday do not miss to go to the top of the San'Andrea Tower.
It is not a very long stair and you will have a great view of the center of town and the little canals.
Inside the tower you will also see the mechanism of the tower clock that is supposed to be the second oldest clock in the world, the first one is in Salzburgh, Austria.
The entrance has a entrance fee of 1,5 euros and there are always a bunch of volontiers willing to take you to the top and explain all about it.
Be careful at the time you start your climb, the bells at the top go off every hours, probably also 30 minutes, and they will be banging right in your ears!!
Along Fondamenta San Domenica are docked many very large fishing boats. In the morning you will see them unloading their catch. You can sit at one of the many bars, have a coffee and watch the action.
The photo here includes a fisherman separating his catch of small crabs. He takes the ones that have a soft shell, and puts them back into the water. The ones with harder shells end up on someones plate for Pranzo (lunch).
Sant'Andrea occupying the central position of Corso del Popolo, the main street in Chioggia. It seems to be the most popular church for the service among the locals or maybe its because the Duomo was closed when I was visiting Chioggia. The main body of the church is 18th century construction and has a bell tower from the 11th century provided with the most ancient tower watch in the world. The interior of the church preserves a valuable peace of art, "Crucifixion" by Palma the Elder.
Museo della Laguna Sud is accross the canal, opposite to the Duomo and nearby Porta Garibaldi. The building was once a church dedicated to San Francesco and later was used as a bud depot. The museum contains rich collection of the artefacts, pictures and documents related to the history of the southern part of the Venice Lagoon. The collection also includes model of boats. The traditional and very pitoresque local styled boats are moored alongside the museum, in a small canal.
One of the first landmarks you see after arriving by waterbus.
This attractive Istrian stone bridge is guarded by 4 lions. When I passed over here later in the evening, it was apparent that this was a popular place for teenagers and 'courting couples' to 'hang out'
There was some construction work going on around here, but this was hidden from street level by attractive pictures of sailing boats.
Crossing the bridge, brings you to the Navy offices and a small church (which was closed), from here, you can start your wanderings.
There aren't any beaches in Chioggia, but there are many in Sottomarina. Practically there is a strip of 10 km of fine sandy beach.
Sottomarina is part of Chioggia and it is situated on another island. It has everything the tourist likes or needs; hotels, restaurants, shops and cafes.
You can go to Sottomarina from Chioggia by bus, otherwise you can go there by foot. I suppose you have to walk around 1km to get there. Start from St. Giacomo bridge in Chioggia; near the church with the same name and go straight on.