Yearning for the sea… yearning for the Lido

August… the holiday month par excellence. Those who have actually taken this vacation or a short holiday just need to choose. Art cites, the seaside, the mountains or… Venice.


Why?… it is simple. This city, renowned for its monumental and museum beauties garnered throughout its millenary history, is fortunate in its privileged geographical location, which in addition to setting it within an extraordinary natural environment such as the lagoon, makes it overlook the sea and the mountains, and more specifically, the Adriatic Sea and the Alps, with the alpine complex of the Dolomites, dominated by the lovely Cortina d’Ampezzo.

Here is how a stay in Venice can offer everything one could wish for from a holiday: culture, relaxation, sports activities, locations and environments.


But let’s talk about the seaside, perhaps the most sought-after place, at least in Italy, right now. Ever since the initial vogue which gave birth to seaside tourism at the end of the Nineteenth century, Venice has always been known for its beach, the Lido, one of the most famous strands in Italy and in Europe.

Launched thanks to two buildings that made the history of Venetian tourism since the early Twentieth century, the Hotel Excelsior and the Hotel Des Bains (the latter is awaiting imposing renovations), and two other buildings from which it still derives its fame nowadays, the Cinema Palace and the Casino Palace, the Lido beach continues to be sought by a different type of tourism from what is known today as mass tourism.


In truth, the Lido is different from everything and from everyone, both as a beach and as an island. Its seaside does not have sunshades but “cabins”; its safe waters and clean sands have been acknowledged for years by a “Blue Flag” (a European award meeting the highest quality standards) and have the advantage of not being subject to the typical crowding of all beaches. Its exceptional location also places it a few minutes by water transfer from the heart of the city and about thirty minutes from the mainland, with which it is connected by a convenient (and panoramic) ferry boat service. And this is another difference that distinguishes this island from all the other ones, namely that it can be reached by car, as well as Pellestrina, its natural geographical continuation.


But the island of the Lido is not only known for its beach. Amongst its facilities we may recall the small but fascinating Nicelli airport, from where one can fly over the lagoon or even the Dolomites; the lush green (and historical) golf course, located between sea and lagoon on the extreme tip of the island; the suggestive and ancient hamlet of Malamocco with its trattorias and its bijou residences for guests passing through, also located near the sea and the lagoon; the extremely ancient, intriguing Jewish cemetery, the imposing complex of San Nicolò with its church and monastery, immortalised by painters like Guardi and Canaletto…

Finally there is something that conveys the image of the Lido almost by definition: it is its film festival, or rather, its Mostra internazionale d’Arte Cinematografica. Born from a rib of the famous Biennale Art Exhibition, with its two first editions staged at the Hotel Excelsior – it was the very early Thirties – it has been capturing worldwide attention between August and September for 85 years now…

This year it will open its stage by unrolling its sought-after red carpets starting from Wednesday 30 August… Needless to say, it will be another occasion to experience Venice in a special way.