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Il senso di scoprire

Piccola farmacia letteraria in Florence: A Hidden Gem for Book Lovers

Can a book heal us?

Well, yes, we all know by now that there are infinite “healing” philosophies, and mind you, I am not delving into an unofficial universe of sciences, but rather I am delving into the microcosm of “Literary Healing”.

We live in years that are far from carefree, made up of a speed and rhythm that perhaps not even the least astute futurists (members of the eponymous movement) would have been able to imagine.

With just a click, we can order anything, at any time and with delivery times that are incomparable to the past.

And yet, the soul of things, that authentic taste, made of waiting and conquest, no longer has the same intensity.

It’s beautiful then to discover that, among so many videos, so many ideas and tutorials that want to solve everything, but never truly solve anything, someone has thought of creating the “Piccola Farmacia Letteraria” for our soul and emotions.

We must thank Elena Molini and her deep conviction that a good book can heal our soul. She, together with her sister Ester and two other fearless women, is the staff behind the success of: Piccola Farmacia Letteraria.

As they themselves say on their official website, they have been able to identify and catalog many books that today cover about eighty different moods, attitudes, and feelings.

A real panacea against inner maladies and the offspring of these times that are so little projected towards introspection.

In this blog, there has always been room for curiosity, poetry, and the unusual. I myself recently made a gift from their wonderful catalog of “products for every need,” choosing a BOX to better manage my resentment.

But the “symptoms” and “moods” curable with these BOXes are many, here are some: Resentment, Anxiety, Love with Heart Fixers, Luck with Continuous Bad Luck, and then Take it with Philosophy and Smart Working for Young Groundhogs.

The genius lies in simple ideas, and Elena’s idea is truly incredible and is garnering enormous success.

Given the current historical period, I hope to be able to visit their store in Florence as soon as possible, but for those who want and can, here is the address: La Piccola Farmacia Letteraria is located at Via di Ripoli 7/R, Florence.

Instagram: @piccolafarmacialetteraria

And finally, if you too are annoyed by people who bother you with their opinions while you build your life… well… here’s a perfect gift idea “branded” by the Farmacia Letteraria.


To all my dear readers, thank you for your continued support. Please feel free to share this article far and wide… sending a virtual hug your way!


Venice’s Canals and Calli: Unraveling the City’s Toponymy

“Latin, what does Latin have to do with anything, let’s not joke…” I can already hear the surprise and disappointment for what I’m about to make you read, but the truth, even when it’s “uncomfortable,” still needs to be revealed.

Venice is a labyrinth of infinite connections, between bridges, alleys, small squares, and much more, but do we know the meaning behind each of the typical names of Venetian toponymy?

Here’s a brief guide to help you “orient” yourself among these concepts:

CALLE: Here we are with Latin, this word, also declined as “calle larga,” “colletta,” or “callesella,” derives from Latin “Callis,” which means: path, alley.

SALISADA: Paved street; a term present in the toponymy of Venice to designate the first streets with pavement.

CAMPO: The main characteristic is the wide size, and they were often not paved and, therefore, used to be full of crops.

LISTA: These are the streets that, with special white stones, marked the end of the diplomatic immunity zone of the diplomats who lived in the city. The famous Lista di Spagna, which takes us from the Venice railway station to Campo San Geremia, is an example.

RIO TERÀ: Indicates a pedestrian street built over a buried canal;

PISCINA: Places where high waters formed real pools of water in which, once the tide had receded, fish remained trapped, ready to be caught.

RAMO: These are small branches of alleys, often ending in a dead-end.

In addition, the names of the alleys indicate the professions carried out there, such as “calle del forno” (baker’s alley), “calle del tagiapiera” (stone cutter’s alley), “calle dei fabbri” (blacksmith’s alley), “calle dei botteri” (barrel makers’ alley), “calle del spezier” (spice maker’s alley), “calle delle rasse” (rope maker’s alley). In other cases, the names refer to altars or sacred corners, such as “calle del Cristo” (Christ’s alley), “calle della Madonna” (Madonna’s alley), “Calle del Paradiso” (Paradise’s alley). Alternatively, alleys were named after noble families who frequented or lived there, such as “calle Dolfin,” “calle Benzoni,” “calle Da Ponte,” “calle Vallaresso,” “calle Bressana.” Finally, there are alleys whose names are derived from significant events or specific functions, such as murders, as in the case of “Calle degli assassini” (Assassins’ alley).

The width of the alleys ranges from 53cm to 8m. If you want to experience a thrill, try passing through Calle Varisco, which with its 53cm imposes an alternating one-way traffic.

Near the Arsenale, in the vicinity of Calle Venier, there is one of the narrowest passageways in Venice, and as you can see from the image, I can barely fit through it.

But why is Venice so rich in narrow passageways? It’s simple! Venetians were required to leave a passage in order to obtain building permits, which forced them to be clever in leaving as little space as possible for people to pass through in the spaces granted.

Did you know that?

Thank you for reading the article, and I’ll see you soon on these pages.

How to get to Pellestrina

Many people ask themselves the question: “How do you get to Pellestrina?” Here is the answer.

To reach Pellestrina, there are several ways, you can approach this territory by first going to Lido di Venezia (2 ferry boats) or directly from Chioggia (vaporetto), but as you will see, there is now a third option available.

The ACTV lines involved in the first case are the 17 and then the 11 with their respective costs (by clicking on the numbers you will find links to schedules). In the second case, instead, you will only use the 11 line in the round trip from Chioggia.

Here is also a map of ALL the local navigation lines.

Keep in mind that if you plan to arrive by bike, it may not always be easy to be loaded on board, especially in the case of the vaporetto from Chioggia. This is because during weekends or peak days, the island is literally overrun.

What to do then?

Know that there are two local bike rental shops that, if contacted in advance, can save you from unexpected waits. Moreover, in the case of Apetours, there is a new opportunity to be discovered:
Apetours – bike rent
Pellestrina’s bike rent

But remember, Pellestrina is a unique territory, like many in beautiful Italy, and as such, it should be respected, just as we will respect those who live there. Always.

Thank you for your attention, dear readers.

Happy exploring.

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Quella volta che Topolino e Pippo hanno alloggiato a Pellestrina…
Pellestrina, un paese da scoprire…
Pellestrina, l’isola che… c’è!
Il Vianello che affondò la “Pirofregata Re d’Italia” a bordo dell’Ammiraglia Austriaca “Ferdinand Max”…
Chi si ricorda la nave incagliata?
“Cagnaccio” di San Pietro, lo scultore di tele.
Come essere dei Turisti responsabili…

Pellestrina, a place to discover

The connection to one’s Homeland is a difficult dispute to unravel without getting lost in trivialities and endless parables; many Italian authors have taught us this, all certainly above my abilities. Just think of Ugo Foscolo in “To Zacinto” or Giacomo Leopardi in “l’Infinito,” shining examples of poetic narration of places dear to them.

Therefore, it is not my intention to embark on a daring challenge, but once again, I want to pique your curiosity about a territory to which I feel a multifaceted connection, made of family, flavors, and colors.

A Pellestrina’s typical view – Sestiere Scarpa
  • First of all, let’s dispel some doubts: why visit it?

You will have the opportunity to discover (by boat, bike, or on foot – the choice is yours) a unique territory. We are talking about an island that stretches for 11km, but whose average width is often less than 100 meters, and in some stretches, the sea and the lagoon are separated only by a ‘slender’ wall, the ‘murazzi.’ It is a unique ecosystem in the world!

Above all, the people who live there are unique. Between one glimpse and another, you can find fishermen busy sorting and repairing nets after a long night at sea, residents cooking freshly caught fish on the embers near the shore, women using Tombolo to create fantastic lace, or simply being captivated by breathtaking sunsets. You will be enchanted by the alternating rows of colorful houses that seem to dive towards the sea (colorful and vibrant just like in Burano), all with curious and original names of alleys and squares, just like in the Venetian Nizioleti

  • Okay, all very beautiful, but where is Pellestrina? 

Many people do not know the exact location of the island’s territory. Well, it is located north of Chioggia and south of the famous Lido di Venezia, precisely here.

  • Now that you know where it is, how do you get there?

So let’s continue, after the necessary thanks to Google for the map link, to understand the most important aspect: how to get there?

There are two itineraries for those who don’t want to visit Pellestrina by boat. One involves passing through Chioggia, and the other through Venice and Lido.

Personally, I recommend the itinerary from Chioggia if you want to explore it on foot or by public transportation (or by renting bicycles on site), and the Venice/Lido route if you want to discover it on your own bikes, but it will be a bit more challenging in terms of time.

Il borgo di Pellestrina, così come si presenta arrivando da Chioggia


PARK YOUR CAR at “Parcheggio Giove” – Saloni locality, Chioggia. From there, walk towards the center of the village and, if you’re not familiar with the city, grab a coffee at one of the countless bars under the porticoes and ask how to get to “Piazza Vigo”. Once you get there, you will certainly see the ACTV landing stage with the ticket office to check prices and the management of loading multiple bikes on a single trip (during the high season, spring/summer, the risk of waiting for several trips is not so remote). Alternatively, at very competitive prices, you can rent bikes directly in Pellestrina (rental 1 and rental 2) or consider an even more typical experience on board a typical “Bragosso,” namely the Bragosso Ulisse, which can transport you, your bikes (or those rented from them) directly to Pellestrina, also agreeing on a possible return time. For the most athletic, I recommend arranging, where possible, to board and disembark at the Cà Roman stop in Pellestrina, so that you can walk along the seawalls to the beginning of the village or stop at the LIPU oasis at the beginning of the island.


The Murazzi toward Cà Roman


This option is highly recommended for bike enthusiasts, as it allows you to cycle for several tens of kilometers between Lido di Venezia and Pellestrina, enjoying all the peculiarities of both islands.
First, you need to get to the Tronchetto terminal and take the ferry boat to Lido. Once you arrive, you can cycle along the Riviera San Nicolò, then all the way down Via Sandro Gallo and then along Via Malamocco (named after the picturesque village it passes through). Continue along Riva Giovanni Diacono and then along Via Alberoni until you reach Via Cà Rossa. Follow this road all the way to the ferry boat, where you will embark on the Line 11 ferry. Within 10 minutes, you will arrive at “Santa Maria del Mare,” the first village on the island of Pellestrina.




To get to Pellestrina from Venice/Lido by car or bus, first you need to arrive at the Tronchetto terminal and park or take the ferry boat to Lido. Once you arrive, you can drive along the Riviera San Nicolò, then follow Via Sandro Gallo and Via Malamocco (named after the picturesque village it passes through). Then continue on Riva Giovanni Diacono and Via Alberoni, until you reach Via Cà Rossa. Follow it all the way and then follow the signs for the Ferry Boat. You will arrive at the Alberoni-Faro Rocchetta area, where you will board the Line 11 ferry and arrive at “Santa Maria del Mare,” the first village on Pellestrina, within 10 minutes.


Let’s pause for a moment, listen to the silence and the sounds of the surrounding nature; the first thing that will strike you is the quietness, the gentle unfolding of the day, already noticeable by taking the first steps along this land. If the season and the weather allow it, definitely consider taking a swim in the sea, the waters are crystal clear and the beaches are completely free (respect remains the main rule to follow).

The poetic freedom feeling of Pellestrina’s beach

Remember to bring towels and an umbrella with you, as the island currently does not have any structured beach establishments.

Besides the sea, there is so much to explore. Let’s walk along the village with its gentle slope of colorful houses, visit the numerous churches (one of them built in memory of a Marian apparition – LINK) of this beautiful retreat from the chaos. Let’s go into the commercial activities and bring home some typical “Bussolai” sweet or savory biscuits (circular or oblong-shaped bread biscuits), or enjoy an aperitif next to the genuine local people.

Townhouses facing the lagoon – near the Sanctuary of Madonna dell’Apparizione.

Every corner, every inch of this island will know how to excite you, and absolutely unmissable, enjoy the sunset over the lagoon. You will be overwhelmed by a myriad of reflections while the Sun plunges into the beneficial lagoon waters.

Lagoon Sunset
  • Where to eat?

Pellestrina offers unique opportunities in this regard as well. Regardless of the sophistication of our palate, we will find opportunities of all kinds. In fact, along the 11km of coastline, there are renowned restaurants such as “Da Nane”, “Da Memo” or “Da Celeste”, two of which have an unforgettable view of the lagoon. We will also find simpler places, but still with an unmistakable taste, such as “Osteria La Rosa” or “Al Pescatore”, as well as pizzerias (mostly for takeout) and agriturismi (and surely I haven’t listed all the possibilities, but only those that came to mind). Don’t hesitate to ask locals for recommendations, as gelaterie (don’t miss the Bar Gelateria Laguna in San Pietro in Volta) and bars might surprise you with unexpectedly delicious snacks.

There are also picnic areas available, but I believe that the true harmony with a visited place is not achieved with a sandwich brought from home, but by fully enjoying the typical experience that the place offers.

The Euganean Hills on a day of “Stravedo” – which means a very clear weather

In conclusion, be curious, be kind, be open to discovery, because this territory will be bare and honest with you. The more you open up, the more you will come out enriched. The peace and silence that you will discover here will acquire a new and higher value. Surrender to the beauty, and you will come out better.

Rhymes in the silence

I say goodbye with the poem that I dedicated to my land, a youthness’ fruit that testifies how the bond with one’s homeland is indissoluble.

Enchanting place
indescribable in words
where the sun dives
and reflects its colors
as it sets
and winks at us from the water’s surface;
some days you seem golden
others, emerald green
others yet, horizonless
and you are blue like the sky
while flocks of white seagulls
are your clouds.
One thing about you never changes
and that is your beauty…

Photos and content by Edoardo Scarpa.

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An itinerary from Pellestrina to San Pietro in Volta.

Versione Italiana

It has been three years since my last visit to the island of Pellestrina; so long because from the end of 2019 onwards, so many things have changed for each of us, for some, definitely too many.

My roots, deeply rooted in this territory, have not let themselves be soaked by the healthy salt air, but also by those scents and colors that I love with every part of me, for more than 900 days.

Today, in this small chronicle, I tell you in words, but also with some shots, what has been one of the most beautiful pages of my photographic excursions. You can live or reshape this experience to your liking, always remembering to be responsible tourists.

If you are my loyal readers, you are all familiar with the territory of Pellestrina and San Pietro in Volta, its peculiarities, challenges and, above all, beauties. In fact, I have also talked about them here: “10 things to do in Pellestrina at least once in your life“.

ITINERARY (about 11 fantastic kilometers): On Monday, June 6th, 2022, I set off towards Chioggia, which I consider the ideal starting point to approach the island. Here we will find the Giove parking lot, which offers super convenient rates by parking the car on the top floor, open on the sides but well covered. The panorama from here will already leave you breathless.

Here is the map of the first stage, just over 1km, also through the heart of the city of Chioggia.

In this route, we will pass from the “Isola Saloni” to the historic center, taking one of the many alleys that connect the “Fondamenta del Canal Lombardo” to the Corso del Popolo. At the end of the latter, after passing by dozens of shops, restaurants, and bars, we will arrive at the landing stage in Piazza Vigo, where the ACTV Line 11 vaporetto will be waiting for us.

🟠 Please note 🟠 check the possibility of booking the boarding if you want to bring your bikes and remember that you can also rent one directly on the island.

Once you have purchased your ticket, wait for the boarding operations to begin and try to get seats on the rear terrace of the boat, the view will be exceptional. But even if you can’t get them, don’t worry, the panorama is beautiful from all other seats as well.

Fishing huts near Ca’ Roman.

If you are “adventurous,” you can add a wonderful stop to your discovery trip. In fact, by requesting a stop at Ca’ Roman in Pellestrina (see timetable notes), you will treat yourself to another 3 km of itinerary in close contact with the lagoon and the sea, never so close along the entire coastline, perhaps walking on top of the Murazzi as in the photo below, but remember that now it’s a forbidden practice to stay upon murazzi by walking.

Walking on top of the Murazzi, towards Ca’ Roman in Pellestrina.

Once this section is finished, either by foot or by boat, you will arrive at the island dock of the vaporetto, near the cemetery.

I highly recommend that you walk along the lagoon side of the island as much as possible, so as not to miss any of the views you’ll see in the pictures. Of course, if you feel the desire for the sea, you can look out on the opposite side and enjoy the view of the island coastline.
| Download the ISLAND MAP for free |

L’insegna che vi accoglierà all’approdo

From here, simply continuing towards the Church of Ognissanti, recognizable by its silhouette that stands out over the village, you will approach the first stretch of the village. On the left, you will see a tall green house, turning left there and walking along the calle, you will arrive at the edge of the Piazza del Duomo di Ognissanti which, in addition to the homonymous church, also houses two commemorative monuments, one in memory of a beloved parish priest and the other, unfortunately more historically significant, which reminds us of a sad chapter of World War II, the sinking of the steamship Giudecca, right in the quiet water in front of the square.

The lagoon in front of the Church of Ognissanti.

Moving on, we will be overwhelmed by the colorful tones of the houses, in the style of the more famous Burano. I recommend staying in the narrow streets surrounded by houses during this phase, in order to acclimatize yourself to the peaceful life of this fishing village, entering into harmony with a reality where uniqueness reigns supreme.

One glimpse, amidst infinite shades of blue.

Keep heading north, discovering the courtyards and alleys where the palette of colors becomes even more beautiful and the combinations create a masterpiece, made of the surroundings.

“Unique colors and combinations”

During this stretch that separates you from the “Temple of the Apparition”, you will pass by a great number of typical restaurants and bars, some famous, others surprisingly genuine. You can take advantage of this and keep an eye out for beauty along the way.

The names of the boats are always linked to stories, whether they are familial, anecdotal or mythological. All of this has a timeless charm.

For the most religious, but also for art and architecture lovers in general, a visit to the “Temple of the Apparition” dedicated to Saints Vito and Modesto is a must-see.

The Temple, as it appears to those who walk or ride along the lagoon side.

If you go to look at the sea from this area of the island, you will be amazed that, from on top of the seawall, you can distinguish the lagoon. It is indeed one of the narrowest inhabited points of the island, so the sea and the lagoon are almost within touching distance and are less than 200m apart. We continue on, amidst colors, scents, and, on the horizon in the waters, some fishing huts, structures on stilts whose primitive charm never leaves one insensitive.

Fishing boats and Fishing Huts

And here, step by step, we arrive at the last stretch of the village of Pellestrina, the Scarpa Sestiere, where, almost miraculously, the spaces that were sometimes narrow so far, seem to become more generous, thus offering us views such as the one where the Church dedicated to Sant’Antonio is nestled.

A diagonal view of the houses and the Church.

And from here, always following the lagoon, we will reach a cycle-pedestrian path that will lead us after about 2 km to the hamlet of Portosecco in San Pietro in Volta.

Sestier Scarpa

The only note to provide is a detour at the height of the ACTV shipyard towards the sea side, and then return to the Lagoon and continue.

And here we are in Portosecco, a place named after the fact that a river once flowed into the sea here and gradually filled up the existing port. Here, the gentle island pace seems even more relaxed and soothing.

The houses near the Church of Santo Stefano.

Continuing on, we will come across various bars and restaurants, as well as the only hotel on the island, the Locanda Stravedo. In front of it, there is an old pier that was once used by ACTV to dock the motorboats in another part of this coastline and then proceed directly to Venice by water.

Former ACTV landing point.

Here we go again, passing by the restaurant “Da Nane” and other businesses including a bar and a gelato shop, we arrive at one of the most charming spots, the center of San Pietro in Volta; here you can find local food shops, mini-markets, and even trucks of street vendors selling fresh products or home accessories.

San Pietro in Volta square

Near the Church, in fact, lived one of the most illustrious citizens of the coast, the painter Natalino Bentivoglio Scarpa, called “Cagnaccio” (literally “Bad Dog”).

Cagnaccio’s House

Continuing on, we will then arrive at one of the most beautiful spots on the island, a dock where the fishing boats rest and where one can enjoy a breathtaking landscape.

View from the small dock in the harbor.

And so we come to the final chapter of this long, exciting, and rich excursion, entering the heart of the “Belvedere” district (left side of the photo above). From here we will see the “Alberoni” district of Lido and the closure of the San Pietro in Volta village, with the ferry-boat sailing in front of us along the harbor.

Here, imagine, a great Disney master lived and set a story: Romano Scarpa, and the porch in the photo below was part of some panels.

The porch in the “Di Botta” area.

And finally, with nostalgia rising, even before leaving the island or continuing on the bike path to the ferry-boat, here we are at the last frame that this unique place will offer us following the direction from south to north.

The benches facing the lagoon in the Belvedere area.

It almost seems like an oxymoron that the benches turn their backs to the lagoon, but don’t worry, you can enjoy the sunset by sitting directly on the wall facing the lagoon, entrusting your dreams to the sun that plunges into the waters as it crosses the horizon of the Euganean Hills.

Because, no one will tell you, but here there are some of the most beautiful sunsets in the world.

Sunset by Lagoon

If you have made it this far, you have shared with me a journey that at times had dreamlike atmospheres, in which I have revealed a lot, but not everything that can be seen in this unique territory.
Whether you choose to go by bike or walk, it doesn’t matter, but enjoy it fully.
I have been dreaming for years of walking the island from south to north, and in hindsight, I am very happy about it, of course, with shoes more worn out from the 11 km traveled, but with a happy heart, because it has learned many new colors and emotions.

Good discovery journey dear readers, from your Edoardo.

PS: If you have come this far, remember that, on the sea side, you will find the bus that can take you to Pellestrina to take the vaporetto according to the LINEA 11 timetable towards Chioggia.


10 things to to do once in a lifetime in Pellestrina