Who: Claudia Weidung-Anders Where: Klostergut Besselich, Germany Do you know…
What: Lido di Venezia
Hardly any other place has such a longing potential as the city of Venice. Venice is the synonym for romance and mysticism, transfigured and described in literature and film. A tourist magnet that attracts millions of visitors every year, so that especially in the high season, the built on wooden poles lagoon city has long arrived at the edge of their capacity. But also in Venice there are contemplative retreats and oases of peace. One of them is the Lido. Known for the annual “Mostra internazionale d ‘arte cinematografica di Venezia” film festival, which will be held for the 75th time this year, the Lido has not really been known as a holiday destination so far. This, however, is about to change. A new beginning is planned, driven by a consortium of 21 hoteliers and business people. Unlike the rest of Venice, the Lido now relies on sustainable tourism, including alternative energies and environmental regulations as well as WWF-funded renaturation: The Lido is now green.
Also at 8 o’clock in the morning the world is still fine in the Lido. The first swimmers have long pulled their tracks in the sea with the rising sun. The Adriatic Sea has 20 degrees during my visit in mid-April and is therefore surprisingly warm for the season. Two ramblers walk their dogs over the gray sand alley. Otherwise, I have the beach almost to myself. The season officially starts in May. The preparations for this have now been completed. That’s a good thing, since the winter has washed a lot of plastic surfaces and other dross to the shore.
I walk past the legendary Grand Hotel des Bains, which has been closed since 2010 and has been waiting to be revived in its enchanted private park, just like Sleeping Beauty. On the main boulevard – the Gran Viale Santa Maria Elisabetta – around this time the first shutters are ran up. Chairs and tables are moved in front of the cafes, pasticcerias, gelaterias and bars, there is a lot of activity, the dishes clatter and there is a smell of freshly brewed espresso in the air. The Lido is like a village where everyone knows everyone: “Ciao, come stai?” The hustle and bustle has also caught the lagoon side early in the morning: Vaporetti or water taxis with commuters land or take off, because many Lidenzer work in San Marco or on the mainland.
Just a few minutes walk from the sea and lagoon lies my hotel, the Ausonia & Hungaria. A jewel of Art Deco, built in 1907 with an impressive, partly tiled façade. The Lido is known for its Art Nouveau architecture, which has been represented here since the work of the Austrian Habsburgs. Until then I knew the Gothic architecture of Venice with its Byzantine influences, but I am equally fascinated by the many Art Nouveau villas of the Lido. By the way, it is worthy to explore these architectural pearls by bike.
By taxi – one of a total of twelve island taxis – I drive to the only golf club in Venice, the Circolo Golf Venezia in the south of the island. In the rickety Mercedes, he had already coached George Clooney and Michelle Pfeiffer over the Lido, the driver tells me proudly. Clooney, who flies by helicopter from his villa on Lake Como to the annual film festival taking place from August to September, has not yet played on the 18-hole golf course. Instead did Edward Duke of Windsor in the 1930s, while the reason for his renunciation of the English crown, the divorced American Wallis Simpson, was sitting in the luxury hotel Gritti Palace in San Marco, waiting for him. Whether the Duke was also enthusiastic about this perfectly into the landscape integrated place? Built in 1928 on the 16th-century fortifications, the golf course is flanked by mature trees and offers breathtaking views of the idyllic Lido landscape.
From here, it is a stone’s throw to the most popular beach of the Lidenzer, the Bagni Alberoni. Nestled in the WWF under nature conservation and supervised, 30 hectares of area with dune landscapes and pine forests, the beach here is white and has fine sand. And just like in the morning I again enjoy a nearly deserted beach, look at the big ships that anchor in front of the Venetian lagoon and watch the waves. It’s hard to believe you’re here in Venice but also seemingly so far away. BvH
Pearls of architecture
Being a gondolier once
Bay the way:
Since 1932 a magnet for the public and one of the most important international film festivals: „Mostra“ – the Venice International Film Festival.
Contact Green Lido:
Info Biennale May 26 – November 25 2018: