Discovering the island of Pellestrina
A corner of paradise in the Venice lagoon.
The Venice lagoon is full of enchanting and remote places, which still retain their authentic beauty and traditions.
One of them is Pellestrina, an island of fishermen, known for making “laces”.
The island of Pellestrina has a very particular conformation, it develops along a 11 km thin strip of land that separates the Adriatic Sea from the Venice lagoon and ends with the Ca ‘Roman nature reserve.
Pellestrina’s charm is indescribable. A place where time seems to stand still.
The enchanting village of San Pietro in Volta is one of the oldest fishing villages in the lagoon, while the cheerful town of Pellestrina, from which the island takes its name, has a strong marine character.
HOW TO REACH PELLESTRINA
The island can be reached by boat from Chioggia or, from the opposite end, coming from Venice, arriving by boat to the Lido.
From here by bus 11 you reach Alberoni, the town at the southern end of the Lido of Venice located near the ancient village of Malamocco and you board the ferry-boat to reach Santa Maria del Mare, at the end north of Pellestrina.
The Alberoni Oasis, a place dear to the Venetians, now a WWF protected area, is a precious container of biodiversity of rare value in the Upper Adriatic, characterized by free and natural beaches with high sand dunes.
Our visit starts from the south end with boarding from Chioggia.
You embark on the ferry boat and after a short navigation you reach the pier of Pellestrina.
The island can be explored on foot, by bus, but choosing your own bicycle is certainly the easiest solution.
Disembarked from the ferry boat, we head towards the first village. It is pleasant to admire the landscape and be fascinated by the beauty of the island.
Small fishing villages, market gardeners and lace makers, small villages with typical Venetian colorful houses with gardens and gardens overlooking the lagoon, a peaceful promenade and uncrowded sandy beaches.
Silence and tranquility are at home. In the air you can breathe the scent of the sea, you can hear the singing of seagulls, the air smells of grilled fish and wild herbs.
Pellestrina island is the kingdom of seafood cuisine. The Venetian cuisine is delicious and invites to stop for lunch in a typical trattoria. Several taverns offer delicacies based on freshly caught fish: schie, shrimp, eel or cuttlefish, appetizers of scallops and scallops, fish pie, fried squid, stewed cuttlefish, accompanied grills from vegetables grown in the gardens of the lagoon. Impossible to resist!
Relax and refresh your trip.
A stop not to be missed is a visit to the Ca ‘Roman nature reserve, an oasis protected since 1989 and one of the few intact coasts of the Upper Adriatic with a habitat of extraordinary fauna richness.
It was decided, therefore, to stay in the southern part of the island and spend the afternoon at the reserve and relax on the deserted beach, surrounded by the dunes that separate it from a dense forest, before embarking on the way back home, taking advantage of the last ferry boat.
The reserve of Cà Roman is connected to Pellestrina by the artificial dam of the “Murazzi”, mighty embankment walls in Istrian stone, one of the most impressive sea defenses erected in the eighteenth century by the Serenissima to face the storms.
The history of the Murazzi and the 1966 flood is told through reconstructions, photos and videos in the small Museum of the Southern Lagoon, housed in the former Goldoni school of San Pietro in Volta.
The oasis of Cà Roman preserves, thanks to its relative isolation, one of the most intact dune environments of the whole Adriatic and boasts, despite its small size, an extraordinary wealth of fauna: it is located, in fact, on one of the most important routes migratory animals of Italy and many bird species use it in autumn and spring to rest and feed before resuming the journey.
The island does not end there. There is still much to visit and it will be the excuse to organize a second excursion or decide to return to Pellestrina on the occasion of a popular festival.
Island festivals in summer
To savor the best of the hospitality of the island and immerse yourself in a real village festival, just land on Pellestrina for the “festa della Madonna dell’Apparizione”, on August 4th each year.
In the days of the festival, all Pellestrina remembers the miraculous episode with popular dances, Venetian rowing regattas, and kiosks of local gastronomic specialties.
The traditional Pellestrina regatta is held on the first Sunday of August, a highly anticipated event that attracts hundreds of rowing enthusiasts to the island.
Another village festival of the island is the festival of Santo Stefano, patron of Portosecco, which ends on August 15: the locals hang festoons of colored flags at the houses and celebrate the saint with the tasty fish dishes of the kiosks, games, music and traditional rowing regattas.
Portosecco, is the village of lace and, walking in summer, you can see the lace makers gathered to make ciàcole that weave their bobbins in front of the house door or sitting on the shore of the lagoon.
Pellestrina is renowned above all for the production of laces. From far back in Venice lace was worked, bobbin lace, made by weaving cotton threads over a cylindrical pillow called tombolo.
The beautiful day ends, the ferry boat takes us back to Chioggia and returns to Lake Garda, happy to have spent a day full of emotions.
Ready for a new experience to discover our territory.