Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The Venice Lido: the island where sea and elegance meet

After that interesting article - An Italian's Adventurous Food Trip to Malaysia - Cinzia Greco has so kindly volunteered another article. This time, Cinzia shares with us an insider perspective of a world-famous city of her lovely country, Italy. Venice is where we head to next, and in particular, The Lido which is the venue of the much-celebrated annual Venice Film Festival.

The Lido — or Venice Lido (Lido di Venezia) — is an 11 kilometres (7 miles) long sandbar in Venice, northern Italy; it is home to about 20,000 residents.

The Venice Film Festival takes place at the Lido every September. This year's event is slated to be from 27th August to 6th September 2014 and it will be the 71st Venice International Film Festival.

Cinzia, take it away..

Just opposite Venice, one of the most romantic and beautiful cities in the world, a narrow strip of land stretches for about 12 kilometres in between the local lagoon and the Adriatic sea: it is the Venice Lido, one of the over 40 islands scattered around the Venetian lagoon, famous above all for being the place where the Venice International Film Festival takes place every year in late August or early September (the first edition of the festival goes back to 1932).

The Lido is one of the municipalities of Venice and it includes 3 main settlements: Alberoni, at the southern end of the island, appreciated for its golf course, Malamocco, right in the centre, where the Doge of Venice used to live, and the Lido itself, in the north, which is the home to the Film Festival and hosts some of the most elegant hotels of the island.
On the Lido, the atmosphere is something sophisticatedly retro and old-fashioned in virtue of its elegant art nouveau buildings, its refined private villas, its lush gardens and pine groves that frame beautiful beaches of golden sand, each of them provided with modern and fully-equipped bath establishments.

Beaches here are gently touched by the transparent waters of the Adriatic sea: soft sand dunes and glorious pine-trees together enclose a protected oasis of great naturalistic interest.
Several dams protect both the sea-line and the lagoon regulating the water flow from the sea.
Typical of the Lido are the so-called Murazzi, An impressive dam in Istrian stone built by the Republic of Venice to safeguard the lagoon from the erosive activity of the sea. Starting from here, along the sea side of the island, the elegant tree-lined promenade extends with its unique shops, original locals and refined hotels.
To spend a holiday here on the Lido island it would be like going back in time and going back to being in the shoes of a Venetian nobleman living in the area way back in the fifteenth century.
Most of the island hotels do maintain this vintage character, but they charge quite large sums of money to experience this atmosphere: for instance, the Grand Hotel Excelsior or the Des Bains (where Thomas Mann stayed in 1911 inspiring his novella Death in Venice) are definitely two of the most representative hotels on the island, but prices are indeed quite high and expensive, being that they are luxury accommodation.
If you still want to enjoy the delightful atmosphere of the Venice Lido without spending a fortune, you can rather opt for Ca’ del Borgo, a delicious Bed&Breakfast set within a magnificent 15th century Venetian palace that used to be the residence of some local nobles. The building is located in Malamocco, the central settlement of the island, and it is easy to reach both from Venice and the mainland through an efficient system of waterbuses, motorboats and ferryboats that dock in the 2 main ports of the Lido: Santa Maria Elisabetta and San Nicolò.
Food in the island is just great.
For an up-to-date list of the best dining places, you can check the Tripadvisor page and read through the numerous reviews written by users. If you want to experience a delicious dinner by the sea, the restaurant at the Alberoni Baths is what you are looking for: menus include pizza, meat dishes and extraordinary sea-food prepared according the local traditions. Not only a restaurant, you can just stop by for an aperitif or at breakfast time to enjoy the beach at its best, when everything is peace and quiet.

We'd be hearing more from Cinzia, so be sure to check back soon. Once again, thank you, Cinzia, for yet another interesting post. :D

Image sources:
- Grand Hotel Des Bains

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