Venice: Explore Forgotten Pellestrina and its Sailing Traditions

Chioggia, Veneto, Italy; Venice, Veneto, Italy
Est. 13.9km / 2 hrs / Map

Venice: Explore Forgotten Pellestrina and its Sailing Traditions - Cya On The Road

Departing from either Chioggia or from Venice Lido, this itinerary will lead you to explore by bike the island of Pellestrina, a place where time seems to stand still. Pellestrina is a thin strip of sand, 12 km long but only a few hundred metres wide. Located between Chioggia and Venice Lido, the island is divided into 4 main areas: Santa Maria del Mare, San Pietro in Volta, Pellestrina and Ca’ Roman. Pellestrina has always been a fisherman’s island, but it is also famous for the uniqueness of its bobbin lace-making. The many-coloured houses all face the lagoon and give a real splash of liveliness to the island. The Murazzi runs along the easternmost side of the island: this typical defensive structure, built in imposing white Istrian stone, was erected in the eighteenth century to protect the lagoon and its inhabitants from the violence of the tides. Along this route you can explore the sandy shore facing the sea, whose horizons for centuries have been scrutinized by traders, soldiers of fortune, intrepid fishermen and seamen. On the western, more sheltered shore which faces the lagoon, you will come upon the small and characteristic island towns with their remnants of squeri, or boatyards, for the construction of traditional boats which were once very busy, and a rowing association which is still operational.San Pietro in Volta is where the traditional vessel in wood, and symbol of the island, the sanpierota originated. This boat, which has oars and sails, is found widely because it is extremely versatile. Being larger than other small boats, it is more resistant to wave strength, meaning it can also be used in open waters. The transformation of the boats once used for fishing clams (also called caparòssoli) into a transport means for tourists with excursions throughout the suggestive landscapes of the South lagoon, is an important sign of the new sustainable tourism practices that are in keeping with the ancient nautical tradition of the island. A final area worthy of a visit for its natural beauty is the Ca’ Roman reserve, opposite Chioggia. Here, rare species of animals and flora can be observed, including some birds which have found in this oasis of peace and quiet the perfect environment for nesting.The recommended itinerary departure for Pellestrina is from the busy fishing harbour of Chioggia by boat (vaporetto 11). For those who prefer to arrive with their own bikes, there are specially equipped transits for bikes during the summer. Bikes can also be hired on arrival, in the vicinity of the pier and the bus station. To get to Pellestrina from Venice, you should arrive first at Lido. From the Santa Maria Elisabetta mooring, take bus 11 which will take you to Alberoni from where you catch the ferry (which also carries cars). To hire a bike in Pellestrina visit the following web site www.noleggiobicipellestrina.it or contact the number +39 331 4529402

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