Lido di Venezia, Venice
Did you know that Venice had a beach? If you have the time and just want to relax, consider going to Lido for the day. I wouldn't say it is the most stunning beach in the world, but it is good if you have been travelling hard for a long time and just need a break. (like I did!) You can catch the ferry there from just outside Piazza San Marco (takes about 1/2 hour).
If you plan to go Venice, take the time to drive to the Peninsula across from the city. There you will find a plethora of hotels and campgrounds at very affordable rates. The nice thing is the availability of a ferry service which starts very early and runs very late. It's also very cheap! A few bucks for round-trip. To arrive in venice by water is like magic, I won't even begin to describe it.
Go to Lido, rent a bycicle (near the vaporetto-stop). From there, go to Malamocco (ancient village) and Alberoni (full of green). Then take the ferry-boat and go to fishermen village of Pellestrina; continue until the dunes and the wood of the Oasis of Caroman.
Just across the basin from St Marks is the island of Lido. This is the 'original' Lido, and gave its name to every other resort in the world that is called Lido - and it was once the playground of the rich and famous.
The beach is on the far side of the island, along with most of the good and expensive hotels. The beaches are mostly private (owned by the hotels) though you can pay for access without being a guest (though this is quite expensive). A cheaper option is the 'private public beaches', which you also pay for, but which aren't part of a hotel. Finally, the cheapest option of all is the public beach. This is at the northern end of the island. The sand here is actually pretty poor, seeming quite dirty in colour, and no way could it be called 'golden'. Facilities are very limited, though there was a lifeguard patrolling (or posing, more like). The nice weather and the lack of any other option brings people here.
If you go too far to the north, the beach is actually quite disgusting, strewn with litter and rubbish brought in by the tide, and absolutely stinking of rotting vegetation (and possibly even animals). It really turned my stomach :-S Stay as far away from that end as you can.
Lido is 8km long, and as you head south (go by bike) you pass through some other small settlemnts. We stumbled across this, the cemetary near Malamocco. It was absolutely exquisite - and so beautifully tended. While we were there an old lady started to talk to Sue, I think she wondered if Sue had relatives in the cemetary who she was looking for. We had no idea what she was saying, but she was a kindly old lady, and she left an impression on us.
This is a settlement about 2/3 of the way down the island of Lido. This is the church of Santa Maria Assunta, in the village. Malamocco was once the home of the capital of the lagoon confederation, until it was moved to what is now Venice, for greater safety.
A small island that stands just off Lido near Malamocco. The church on the island is that of San Vitale. I don't know a great deal of the history of that island, but it makes a picturesque backdrop.
At the very very northern tip of Lido (past the stinking mess on the beach, if you can make it) is a long, long finger stretching out into the sea. This is a man made breakwater and its almost 2km long. It's part of Venice's sea defences. Across the water from this is mainland Italy in the shape of Punta Sabbioni. This area is adjecent to the resort strip of Lido di Jesolo and is crammed with campsites. You can reach Punta Sabbioni by vaparetto from Venice (but it's more likely that you'd make the reverse trip, I guess).
I haven't tried this yet... but some of my friends had already experienced these joyflights.
Choose a reputable company handling such joyflights and they can fly you over historical cities of Padova, Treviso and Chioggia, the wonderful islands of the Venetian Lagoon
(Pellestrina, Alberoni and Venice Lido) and old Venice city. They can even fly you over the Italian Dolomites! You can take great panoramic photos from your window-seat of the city below you.
I am told that each of such flight lasts for approximately 1 hour and the aircraft can comfortably accommodate 3 passengers.
It's not cheap but definitely a thrilling experience. Your memories-to-last-for-a-lifetime can set you back by as much as US$150 and more per person.
We'll try this recommendation on our next visit to Venice for sure.
For more details, please check directly with your hotel concierge.... I am merely passing on a tip my friends shared with me.
having some spare time is a good idea to visit the laguna and some of the several island. The climate is simply awful: wet, hot and full of mosquitoes during the summer, foggy and cold in the winter but if you can bare with the climate in venice (even worse) you will surely enjoy a laguna sightseeing
Lido, can reach here by the water taxi. The scenarios are pretty different than Venice. It's another world alltogether, with beaches & tanned bodies (although mostly kids & old folks).
The photo shows the roofs of the huts, containing these people.
Go there for a lazy stroll, swimming & shopping, have a nice snack or splash on a fancy dinner with a lover.
Hotels aplenty on Lido. Expensive too. Cater for families & lovers who think Venice is too historical & romantic to be in.
This area is good for stroll-by because the sights are just different than in Venice itself.