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.
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.
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.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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”).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Freebie THE FULL ROUTE BY GOOGLE MAPS
Freebie MAP OF THE ISLAND
10 things to to do once in a lifetime in Pellestrina