There are lovely little clam shells with zig-zaggity stripes on them to collect. I always feel a little guilty when passing back through customs. "Do you have any food, plant, dirt, etc.?" What do I say? " I have a few seashells." (?) Well, I say, "No, nothing." I like to keep my life easy...
Venezia Spiagge SpA is the name of the beach area we are on. We are given a place further back from the shoreline because the front spots are reserved for the summer by regulars. That's okay, it is nice back here. And everyone murmurs; very unlike the loud, boisterous shore people we are used to. Glad I didn't bring a noisy toddler...
No beach this close to Venice and the industrialised mainland is ever going to be used for a Bounty commercial but it’s still surprisingly good. The sand stretches almost the entire length of the Lido and has been split up into private “baths”, although anyone can use the first few metres in from the sea of ANY stretch of beach.
Obviously there isn’t any difference in the sea (it’s all the same water), but the private beaches are combed every night, and look and feel far superior. The best sections are owned by the large hotels, Excelsior and Des Bains, easily recognisable by the attendants who will quickly usher you on if you stray further than 10m from the waters edge. You don’t have to be a guest to rent a cabana, but I suggest you save your money and go for the managed areas further along. (The sand on the small free public areas doesn’t look as inviting and the beach is packed right down to the waters edge).
If you’re staying on the Lido, check if your hotel has a deal with this company – we got a reduced price on loungers from Hotel Panorama (7 euros a day). If not, anyone can turn up, paying an increasing premium depending on the position of the cabana - a bit like theatre seats, the most expensive row faces the sea. Further back, they get a little cramped but this being Italy, everything is quite civilised and unlike the UK you won’t find yourself next to some pond life listening to R’n’B at 200dB. The odd lucky lucky man might pester you but aside from that a very relaxing way to spend a summers day.
Beach facilities are THE BEST I’VE EVER SEEN, catering mainly towards families. They’ve thought of everything so expect showers, lockers, cafes, bars, WC’s, toy shops, newsagents etc etc.
The restaurants on Santa Maria Elisabetta aren’t too far for lunch or the respected but pricey Trattoria Favorita (Via Francesco Duodo 33), closed when we visited.
Season runs from June to September, when it probably becomes too cold to be enjoyable.
At the northern end of the Lido is San Nicolo with the church of the same name, built for the Benedictines in the seventeenth century. On Ascension Day, at the time of the Serenissima Republic, the Doge would board his splendid ceremonial galley - called the Bucentaure - and row out from his palace to celebrate the 'marriage between Venice and the sea'. When he arrived in front of San Nicolo he would throw a wedding ring into the sea as a token of alliance.
Although the side of the isle facing the sea (the other one looks at the lagoon) is a long beach, you can enter only a few areas with your towel on tour shoulder. Almost the whole littoral is divided into private baths: “4 Fontane”, “Consorzio Alberghi”, “Excelsior” and so on. The areas where tourists can freely sunbathe are also only 3. The most crowded one, due to its position, is the A Zone, whose entrance is placed at the end of Viale S. Maria Elisabetta. The other two free beaches are at the tips of the isle. Alberoni is at one end (direction Pellestrina) and it takes 15 minutes by bus from Piazzale S. Maria Elisabetta. S. Nicolò is at the other end, at the bus’ last stop (10 minutes). But if you love rocks and rougher sand, you can go to the so-called Murazzi, 400 m away from “Excelsior”, direction Alberoni. Here, between the rocks and the pine wood, there is a long asphalt way, running for a few km along the sea. It is ideal for a romantic walk or for a bike ride away from the traffic.
Yes, Venice has a beach! After following an intense travel schedule for several weeks, I enjoyed nothing more than soaking up some sun! Weather at the end of June was absolutely perfect.
I had asked VTers to suggest beaches in Italy before I headed over there....I didn't receive much of a response...so here is a tip for those of you who want to relax at the end of your site-seeing-filled days. (Feel free to go topless here.)
Many Venetians set up camp in a cabanna. They can be rented by the day, month, or season. There were lots and lots of these functional, comfortable, little huts. I want one!!
You don't need a complete shower if you are only a bit sandy. There are foot and arm tubs on the outside of the bath house. Such a well thought out place this was!
There is a nice, shady cafe on the beach right by our place with lots of lunch foods to choose from. Plenty of drink choices and ice cream bars too.
We had fun with this bike
with a surrey that we had
rented for a couple hours.
It was fun just to ride around
the town to check things