Venice’s Lido is a long strip of land, an Island, that separates the Adriatic sea from the lagoon. The part of the island that overlooks the sea is accompanied by a long road, the Lungomare, with panoramic views and access to the many beaches.
Both are picturesque roads that form a kind of tunnel through the Mediterranean pines that can always be found along coastal regions. These trees grow the entire length of the road that begins at the hospital and finishes at the Murazzi.
Lungomare Marconi is the long est and perhaps the most interesting road. It passes in front of the Des Bains Hotel with its sprawling gardens. This beautiful building was built in 1900 and is the work of engineer, Francesco Marsich. It is one of the best known hotels in Venice.
Here, the author Thomas Mann wrote his novel ‘Death in Venice’ and where Luchino Visconti made the film of the book. It is in mitteleurope style and has undergone many modifications over the years.
Carrying on along Lungomare, one can see Villa Gabriella in Piazza Fiume. This is a beautiful building in neoclassic style and today is part of the hotel building complex. A little further along and one finds the Piazzale del Casino. The buildings here are an example of fascist architecture. There is the Casinò and the Palazzo del Cinema, where every year hosts the International film festival. This piazza has beautiful views of the sea, especially at sunset because of its large, oval terrace overlooking the sea. Works are underway in this area at the moment to build the new film festival building. A new look is certainly on its way.
Immediately after this piazza, there is the classical Art Decò building where one can find the Bar Lion. It is particular in its wrought iron work for example in the overhanging lamps in the portico and unusual architecture. A few shops line the portico and keep the building in play. During the Second World War, the German military police took over the building.
Not far away is the other famous hotel on the Island, the Excelsior Palace Hotel. Many stars stay here during the film festival. It was built between 1907 and 1908 in Romanic- Venetian style but interpreted freely with Arabian infuences giving it a ‘flight of fantasy’ feeling. There are also medieval elements in the two lateral towers. It is a gorgeous and eclectic mix of architectural elements.
A few hundred metres on is the beginning of the Murazzi. This is a long pathway following the sea with only a wall between you and the coast. It is a walkway in which you can enjoy the sea breeze and the perfect panorama over the Adriatic.