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.
- 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.
GETTING THERE FROM 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.
GETTING TO PELLESTRINA FROM VENICE/LIDO BY BYKE:
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.
GETTING THERE FROM VENICE/LIDO BY CAR OR BUS:
ACTV’S TIMETABLE – LINE 17 & LINE 11
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.
- WHAT WE CAN DO ONCE ARRIVED?
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).
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.
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.
- 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.
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.
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.
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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