Lido di Venezia, the green oasis of Venice


What: Lido di Venezia
Where: Italy

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Ciao, Lido!

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.

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Morning idyll on the deserted beach. While the sand in the north of the Lido is rather dark due to the current, the beach in the southern part of the Lido is white and fine-sanded

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.

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The Venetian lion watches over everything

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.

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The water taxi will take you to San Marco within ten minutes

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.

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MyStylery on tour: The Lido can be easily explored by bike. The only twelve kilometers long island measures at the narrowest point just 300 meters, at the widest point 1.5 kilometers

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.

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Insidertip: You’ll find the most popular beach Bagni Alberoni in the South of the island

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

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View from the renatured dune landscape on beach and sea

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Crumbling plaster on the facade of the former hotel legend Grand Hotel des Bains. An investor was found. Only the beginning of the extensive renovation is uncertain

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Cafés, restaurants and shops line the main boulevard of the Lido, the Gran Viale

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I also find the typical Venice vibe on the Lido: on my discovery tour I pass numerous bridges and canals

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Vegetable shop with beautifully arranged products

Pearls of architecture

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Byzantine Gothic meets Art Nouveau

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Nice detail: The wooden decorations on the roof

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I particularly like the rose-colored facade of Villa Anna Maria

Bridge railing in Art Deco: Beautiful!

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Elegant gate with Art Deco elements

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And another pearl of architecture on the Gran Viale

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The baroque church of San Nicolo is located in the north of the Lido and helped the Venetians to secure the entrance to the lagoon. In the event of hostile attacks, the church bells were rung, warning the Venetians. The adjoining monastery is now the seat of the European Inter-University for Human Rights and Democratisation

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At the widest part of the Lido – in the south of the island – between 1909 and 1911 the airport “Aeroporto di Venezia-Lido Giovanni Nicelli” was built in the most beautiful Art Deco, with a runway on lawn. The back then developed luxury hotels Excelsior and Grand Hotel des Bains were thus faster to reach. 1926 started the first scheduled flight from Vienna to Venice…

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…praised by the BBC as the world’s most beautiful airport, the airport today is used by small private planes and helicopters

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The Grande Albergo Ausonia & Hungaria is a four-star hotel restored with a love to detail…

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…In the coming year, work on the building, which is under monumental protection, is scheduled to be completed. Tip: Book an treatment at the hotel’s Asian-inspired “Lanna Gaia” Spa

Being a gondolier once

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I’ve always wanted to know what it’s like to maneuver a gondola. In the Nautico San Marco I get a small introduction including practical testing by experienced Gondolieri. (Bookings on Remiera San Marco). I notice: Looks easy, but requires years of training and body feeling. One leans forward slightly, while the outer arm pulls out and the inner arm leads the rudder. Got it? 😉

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View into the boat harbor of the Nautico San Marco: The boats are also used in the historic regatta “Ragata Storica”, which takes place every year in September. My “trainer” Tarsilo is one of the most successful regatta participants and has won the Ragata Storica 15 times

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The golf club „Circolo Golf Venezia“:

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After a round trip over the 18-hole course, you can enjoy excellent lunches in the restored red-clinker stables

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The ‘Cradle’ of Venice is located on the Lido: Malamocco is not only the oldest part of Lido, it is the oldest part of Venice

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Stroll through the small streets and inhale the atmosphere!

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The foundations of the Relais Alberti,, today a twelve-room boutique hotel, date back to 1450. Built by the Florentine banking family Alberti, Relais Alberti, located in the center of Malamocco, is my personal highlight. For a year and a half under new management, it offers cooking classes with local dishes and ingredients from the hotel’s vegetable garden.

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Elegantly furnished with partly antique Murano chandeliers: Relais Alberti

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Here it also tastes the Hollywood celebrities: A dinner in the restaurant Quattro Fontane I can highly recommend. Tired heads will find a nice room in the associated hotel

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The Quattro Fontane menu: beetroot, buffalo mozzarella and Parma ham…

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…followed by vegetable risotto…

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…and beef fillet. Simply delicious!

Buon Appetito!

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The five-star hotel Excelsior has 197 rooms and suites…

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…and the only hotel pool on the Lido, overlooking the sea

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View from the Lido di Venezia to San Marco

Salute with a Bellini! Lido, I’ll come back 🙂

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:

veneziaeilsuolido.it

Info Biennale May 26 – November 25 2018:

labiennale.org

 

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