Lido’s golden sanded beaches are a great hideaway for Venetians seeking a bit of time out to enjoy the sun and sea while staying close to home. Lido is one of least crowded parts of the Adriatic coast but thanks to its close vicinity to Venice, it is the perfect holiday spot for tourists who want to combine culture with beach time.
Once the island was a drawcard for Europe’s noble elite. From 1857, the year in which the first great bathing establishment was built, tourists began to arrive making it Europe’s most elegant seaside get away.
From that golden era the only things to survive are the typical wooden capannas (beach huts) where one can change, eat and find some welcome shade during the hottest part of the day. This was a something special that other parts of Europe didn’t have. The existence of the capanna meant that Lido was voted in the American magazine AskMen, one of the hot spot beaches in the world.
Lido’s beaches are also characterised for their shallowness allowing even small children to enjoy the sea in safety. It is also known for its clean and protected waters thanks to the dykes or piers that line all the beaches beginning from the first in St Nicolo to the last at the Alberoni.
The bathing establishments are very manicured and well set out with their rows of numbered capannas, each a different colour and shape according to which beach they belong to. Each beach offers many services such as bars, restaurants, sailing, wind surfing however they don’t come at a cheap price.
On Lido there are also beaches that are free to the public. These are the sandy dunes at the Alberoni and also at St Nicolo, the rocks at the Murazzi and the beach at Bluemoon. This last can be found at the end of Gran Viale, not five minutes walk from the boats arriving from Venice. It is usually packed by tourists and is also one of the most well equipped thanks to the recent construction there that opened shops, a bar and restaurant and the installation of showers and bathrooms. The other public area beaches don’t have services of any sort and are not very well looked after but they are much more peaceful and less crowded.
The Alberoni beach is protected by the WWF and is a large, wild space continuously growing thanks to the protection it receives from the dyke at the mouth of the port. There is very little construction here, therefore the wildlife and vegetation thrives. It is a habitat for many different marine birds, among them the rare bee eater and Kentish plover as well as the ordinary gull and garzette. The continuous changing landscape is witnessed by the fact that the old Fort, the Alberoni Fort, which is the golf club of today, were first built close to the water’s edge and are now a few hundred metres away.
It is an environment that captured J.W.Goethe’s attention in his travels through Italy. He wrote that while walking on the beach he; “found many different plants that seemed similar but that showed their different properties on closer attention: They are all strong and tenacious grasses like alpine plants and it is clear that the ancient sand of the earth, as well as the salty sea air, give to these plants a special property.”
Site: www.turismovenezia.it go to the beaches section for information on bathing establishments on Lido.