From the sea to the duny beaches, from a cane thicket to the shallow valley waters, narrow and long strips of land throb lively fron dawn to sunset. The littoral lands are the thin barrier between the lagoon and sea waters and are the natural defense of the artistic, cultural and economic heritage which finds its core in Venice. The relationship between man and lagoon is still very close and the activities within this rich and special ecosystem are very intense: hunting, fishing, agriculture and tourism. Man found in the banked valleys prized fish species to fish and breed: grey mullets, eels, shellfish, crawfish and crabs; birds to hunt, above all ducks present in the lagoon in many species; fertile lands to cultivate: a specialized horticulture flourishes on the littoral lands in the major islands and the cultivation of extensive cereals is present on the lands which border the lagoon. Few people know the ferment which carachterizes the periods of low tide or the silences of the abandoned islands. The thousands of tourists who come every year to the golden beaches of the seaside resorts and to Venice seem indefferent to all this. The brackish waters caressed by the breeze and grazed by the sea perfume, the soft lights of the lagoon wait.
Ca' Savio (leaving from the homonymous road) - littoral dunes and wood - Punta Sabbioni - Trip by boat - Lido di Venezia - Malamocco - Alberoni - Trip by boat - Santa Maria del Mare - San Pietro in Volta - Murazzi - Pellestrina - Ca' Roman - Trip by boat - Chioggia
Lenght: 32 km
Notes: it is good to know that for what concerns the trips by boat , the public means of transport can transport only a limited number of bikes. It is better to get information and agreements before leaving. From the Lido Venice can be reached in 15 minutes by public means of transport.
From Ca' Savio we go along the homonymous road and before reaching the sea we turn right along Via Adige, then left along Via Pealto and again right along Via Montello. Along the road many small roads go from the left and penetrate the littoral wood till they reach the beach. This part of the littoral land is worth a stop and a visit, because it has partly maintained its original look: the dunes have not been flatten and the vegetation has not been destroyed to make space to bathing establishments.
Via Montello come out at the beginning of a dam about 1 km long which delimits the "bocca di porto" of San Nicolò. Keeping the left we reach the open sea until the lighthouse "La Pagoda". On the right side on the sea-front Dante Alighieri, we reach Punta Sabbioni, always crowded with people and boats; from here we can catch the boat to go to the Lido di Venezia (more or less every 30 minutes). Once settled our bikes on the boat we can enjoy during the trip the beautiful landscape that from the bocca di porto on the sea goes to the inside lagoon, watching in the distance the charming venetian palaces that appear in the horizon. We get off at the Lido, well-known venetian beach, at the stop of Santa Maria Elisabetta or San Nicolò and we proceed towards South; along Via San Gallo, that becomes Via Malamocco at the bridge on the right of Via Selvo, we arrive in Riva di Corinto on the lagoon: very close is the isle of the Lazzaretto Vecchio , old hospital of the Serenissima for contagious sicknesses, today home for dogs; its buildings are now in restoration. On the right side the Isle of San Lazzaro degli Armeni, old leper hospital which houses since 1700 the Armenian followers of Mechitar. The isle can be visited by catching from Venice the boats of Line 20 of the public service: the restored church and convent contain important works and the renowned printing-works is still in operation. San Lazzaro represents the only example in the lagoon of a minor island not to be abandoned and left to degradation as shows a clever way of living full of cultural, sports and artisan activities.
Next to the horse field we go back to the main road and proceed ahead till a strong turn which leads to the Southern lagoon and the Isle of Poveglia and the small centre of Malamocco. The solitary isle is today abandoned, but it was once rich in vinyards and rock-salt mines and a lively centre. As Malamocco it had the privilege to have an independent government. A few more kilometres and we reach Alberoni, where a visit to the beach is almost compulsory: high dunes covered with the typical vegetation make this place one of the last untouched streches of the beach of the northern Adriatico. Visconti shot here his "Morte a Venezia" (Death in Venice). Following Via del Faro we reach the southern extremityof thi shore and in 10 minutes by ferry-boat we cross the "bocca di porto" of Malamocco berthing at Santa Maria del Mare. The isle of Pellestrina is a narrow and long strip of land suspended between sea and lagoon, protected from the rush of the waters by one or more strong defenses that the Serenissima managed to build in order to save its town. The Murazzi run along the shore and keep safe the tiny villages of fishermen which face the lagoon with their voices and sounds: San Pietro in Volta, Portosecco, an ancient port today silted up, St. Antonio and Pellestrina. It is up to the wish of the visitor to choose the itinerary he likes, alternating a stop on the dam with a stroll in the "calli", till the strip which faces the lagoon border. After Pellestrina, past the churchyard, we cycle near the big Istrian rocks that compose the Murazzi at a few metres from the sea. The inscriptions witness the dates of construction of the dam by the Serenissima, year after year. The shore of Ca' Roman opens for almost 40 hectares of beach, dunes and greenery. Here the dunes are the last refuge of many species of flora and fauna; they are the natural protection which limit the lagoon from the sea as known well by the administrators of the Serenissima. A project of study on the nest-building of two species of birds fratino (Kentish plover) and fraticello (little tern), present in Ca' Roman, and wanted by the Councillorship for Ecology of the Town Hall of Venice, which has made of the isle a naturalistic oasis of great interest. To go from Ca' Roman to Chioggia we still have to pass another bocca di porto, and to do it we have to go back to Pellestrina from where frequent means of transport leave to the town.
Provincia di VeneziaTuristic itinerary edited by the cooperative Limosa Operatori Naturalisti.
Published by Achab Editoria - Scorzè
hat to see: castles, historical buildings, landscape, flora, fauna, woods.