Chioggia’s location makes it ideal for a day trip from Venice

Did you know that Venice is situated in the middle of a 550 square kilometres lagoon? Another little known fact is that both the City of Venice including the ecologically rich lagoon are a World Heritage site, to be protected and preserved “for future generations and for the benefit of all humankind”, according to UNESCO. Venice and its lagoon form an inseparable whole, but now this exceptional city and its ecosystem are under threat from frequent flooding and relentless waves of mass tourism.

Venice is Venice, no doubt about that, but there are many places worth exploring in other parts of “Laguna Veneta” too, away from the crowds, if you will. The most popular daytrip destinations out of Venice would be Murano and Burano. A lesser know place off the so-called beaten tourist paths is the fishing town of Chioggia, situated on the far side of the vast Venetian lagoon…

 

Fishermen friends in Chioggia

 

Chioggia

The town of Chioggia is situated on a small island in the southern part of the Venetian lagoon, at one of three inlets to the lagoon itself. Chioggia including Sottomarina have about 50,000 inhabitants. The town can be reached from Venice by ferry and local buses along the outer sandbank strip of the lagoon via Lido (Santa Maria Elisabetta) and Pellestrina, or by car via Padua or train from Rovigo.

 

On Canale Vena

 

Chioggia is a lively little town with a genuine local feel to it. Everyone seems to know each other under the arcades along the main street, Corso del Popolo.

If you head down a narrow side streets, a ‘calle’ as they are called in these parts, the buzz of the high street soon fades in the background. The scenery changes. Fishing boats large and small line the canals. Here and there I am reminded of similar towns within a few hours reach from Chioggia, places like Comacchio, Murano and Burano. While these towns have their own unique and well-preserved charm, the bigger but less touristy Chioggia both feels and looks more authentic, even a bit rougher around the edges, so to say.

Chioggia is a traditional fishing town with a large and modern fishing fleet. Other important industries include textiles and lace-making, as well as brick-making and steel.

Chioggia’s location makes it ideal for a day trip from Venice. Depending on season and timing it will take you 1-2 hours one way, so you could even have Chioggia as a base for trips to Venice and the islands further north. Renting a bike and cycling from Pellestrina to Lido di Venezia is also possible.

 

Chioggia’s fishing fleet

 

Sunset over the Venetian Lagoon

SOURCES & CREDITS
All photos by Asgeir Pedersen, IN Editions
This is a revised version of the article first published in October 2014.