Half way of the 20th century, the Lido became a seaside resort and therefore the main attraction for many to the Lido is the famous beach, which is frquently mentioned in many publications (mainly Venetian) as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. We didn't agree with that as the public beach was not well-maintained and was covered in litter from some of the locals and tourists that used the beach and the water was also very polluted!
The Lido is at its most popular during the first week of September when it hosts the famous Venetian film festival. During this time the whole island is besieged by Hollywood, film-makers and press from around the globe.
The island of Lido is 12 kilometers long and forms the main land barrier between the city of Venice and the open sea. For many years a succession of Doges made their way out to the shallow waters of the Lido to celebrate the Ceremony of Venice's marriage to the sea by dropping a ring into the waters.
We had a great walk via Gran Viale Santa Maria Elisabetta all across the island and ended up at the famous beach. We passed The Grand Hotel des Bains. This hotel is Built in 1900 and was remodeled in 1989. It’s set in the heart of a lush centuries old park. We learned that it has been partially restructured In 1989, but respecting its original layout and its period decorations. The hotel still retains the essence of its Belle Epoque Style with extraordinary wrought iron balustrades. Besides that it has elegant facades and palladian inspired colonades.
After watching the film Death in Venice a couple of times, I was curious to check out the hotel where the film was set on Lido. I'd visited Venice a few times, but hadn't ventured to Lido, until my visit at Christmas 2009.
I was quite disappointed to find that the hotel- Des Bains was boarded up, and the beach in front of it was in the process of being tidied up.
As I passed by the hotel, I saw a man leaving the hotel in his car, so I'm not sure if the hotel is still being cared for. It was probably even more melancholy than the film!!
Via Santa Maria Elisabetta is the main street of Isola de Lido, all the main activity of the island is concentrate it here. You can find all kind of restaurants, bars, gelaterias, supermarkets, souvenirs shops, etc. Is very nice for a walk until the end of the street where is the sea promenade and the beach, if you want to swimn or sunbathing.**
Via Santa Maria Elisabetta es la calle principal de la isla de Lido, donde se concentra la mayor actividad de la isla. En ella se encuentra todo tipo de restaurantes, bares, heladerias, tiendas para comprar souvenirs, supermercados, etc. Está muy bién para dar un paseo hasta llegar al final de la calle donde se encuentra el paseo marítimo y la playa por si quieres darte un baño o tomar el sol.**
First place we visited after leaving the luggage in our room was the beach, we found information about lido beach and all that it says was good, we arrived late about 8 in the evening it was very quiet, some people walking and few ones enjoying the water of the adriatic sea. We went again on friday afternoon and this time was full of people, the day was sunny and we enjoyed too.*
El primer sitio que visitamos en Lido fue la playa, encontramos bastante información sobre las playas en Lido, llegamos sobre las 8 de la tarde y estaba muy tranquila, apenas gente bañanadose y los que no dando un paseo. Fuimos otro día esta vez mas pronto y la playa estaba repleta de gente y sobre todo turistas. Disfrutamos de las aguas del mar adriatico.**
There are lots of sea shells on the public beach at Lido, and you can actually take a few beautiful ones home as sourvenirs. However, do be carefully of walking barefoot on the beach because of these shells :)
There is a elevated walkway connected to the entrance to the public beach at Lido, and this will lead all the way to the sea area. The views of the beach, sea and surrounding areas from this walkway are very good, and it can be very windy here.
There will be lots of people at the public beach during the hot summer season, so be prepared for the crowds. Besides sun-tanning and swimming, there are beach sports such as beach volleyball, beach soccer, leg paddling boats etc here. Personally, I think that the sand on this beach is not so good because it is rather rough with lots of shells. Also, the water at this part of Italy is not so clean and clean. Overall, I think the beach on the southern parts of Italy or other Mediterrean locations would be better. Please see part 3 of this tip and more photos of the beach are at the travelogue section of this VT page.
Many people visiting Venice may not know about the long stretch of beach at Lido, or simply do not have enough time to visit. If you have the time, you can come down to the beach (see my transportation tips on how to get to Lido). Once you arrive by the vaporetto (water bus), simply follow the crowd and walk along Gran Viale Santa Maria Elisabella, the main street of Lido. After a 15 minute walk, you will reach a traffic round-about and across the road is the entrance to the public beach of Lido (see photo). The entrance area is rather interesting because of the dome structure architecture. Take the stairs down and you will reach the beach, and there is a walkway on the second floor leading to a good viewpoint of the beach and sea. There are also some areas on the second floor next to the many cone structures where you can sit down and enjoy the surroundings. Please see part 2 of this tip.
This is the main street and most famous in Lido. It starts from the vaporetto (water bus) station at Lido (inside the Venetian lagoon) and goes all the way to the public beach (on the other side of Lido, facing the Adriatic Sea). The best way is to take a walk along this street, as there are lots of shops, restaurants, bicycle rental shops and entertainment outlets such as pubs here. There is a Billa supermarket here which you can buy lots of stuff, including food. If you have the time, you can wonder off to some of the side streets and have a look at the houses around this area.
Lido is a slender 12km land which helps to block the strong waves of the Adriatic Sea from reaching the important islands within the Venetian lagoon such as Venice, Murano and Burano. Therefore without Lido, all these famous places will not have existed. However to allow for the flow of the water from the lagoon to the sea, there are a few openings (these also allows for boats and even cruise ships to enter the lagoon).
Lido offers a good getaway from Venice as the atmosphere is very different. Lido is famous for its long stretch of beach, as well as for activities such as cycling. In fact, there are roads, cars, buses etc on Lido. Some tourists actually stay at Lido as the accomodations here are apparently cheaper than Venice, these tourists then travel to Venice for the visit via the frequent vaporetto (water buses).
Lastly, Lido is at its most popular during the first week of September when it hosts the famous Venetian film festival. During this time the whole island is besieged by Hollywood and film-makes and press from around the globe. Amongst the famous movie stars that make their annual homage to Venice for the film festival are Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, George Clooney, Johnny Depp, and a host of other stars who make Venice their home during the week.
Lido Island's town area is quite picturesque especially during the sunnier months. From the waterbus or vaporetto stop, you can walk pass the pretty building and along the tree lined streets. Visitors and locals can be seen in casual or beach ready clothes, some enjoying gelato from one of the cafes.
Since it's less crowded here compared to Venice, you will be more likely to enjoy a relaxing day.
If you wanted, you could actually go all around the beach, and never touch the sand. There were lovely walkways everywhere, even leading all the way to the water's edge. And the landscaping was beautiful!
At the bath house you can change, shower, and use the toilet. Please take note that BEFORE you enter a stall, the toilet paper is in a dispenser out by the sink area. Once you're in the stall, it's too late for paper, unless there is someone you can call out to...
To make finding your beach spot just a bit easier, there are these beach poles with different attachments upon the top. So, before you take off on a beach walk, take note of your closest marker. For instance, we were by the Beachball. Next to us was a Banana! Once you get that close, finding your exact location among all the same designed umbrellas is on you!