Last year the New York Times has indicated Chioggia as the first of the 52 recommended destinations to visit in the world. There little Veniceas it is often called (despite the inhabitants turning up their noses at this definition), is the ideal starting point for a holiday that mixes culture, nature, gastronomy, open-air activities and Blue Flag beaches, all to be experienced at a slow pace and also suitable for families.
Open air holidays
The tourists who arrive here every year from Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Holland and Denmark are well aware of this, also attracted by the five-star accommodation offer of the open-air villages of the Isaholidays group: 8 thousand beds divided between mobile homes, bungalows and residences in the two structures Isamar Holiday Village & Residence in Isolaverde di Chioggia and Barricata Holiday Village in the Po Delta natural park. Founded in 1971 as a campsite, with bungalows and tent pitches in a green area of 300 thousand square meters overlooking the sea, Isamar Holiday Village today retains the renovated bungalows but has replaced the tents with a wide range of mobile homes, including luxury suites and XL accommodations for groups and large families.
Since the beginning of the season, he explains Silvia Pagnan, sales & marketing manager of the Isaholidays Group, "and compared to the years 2000-2022, there is a 12% increase in turnover and an 18% increase in bookings is expected for August". Numbers that can also be explained by the discovery - all Italian - of open-air holidays, especially after the lockdown period due to the health pandemic. “Foreigners have always appreciated the outdoor tourism and now the Italians too are discovering a new way of holidaying in contact with nature, in very different structures from the campsites of a few decades ago”.
Not surprisingly, for 2023 the Group estimates 660,000 visitors, up by 10%. And is preparing to invest accordingly. In addition to water park of 14 thousand square meters, with six slides and a heated swimming pool, tennis courts, football, soccer, basketball, 18-hole mini-golf and the diving center, the novelty of the summer at Isamar Holiday Village Isolaverde in Chioggia will be Pump Trackthe track for bikes, skateboards, roller skates and kick scooters with steep turns and whoops.
By bike from Chioggia to the Venice Lido
Chioggia is to be enjoyed at a slow pace among the calli and bragozzi, the typical Chioggia boats. We go to the discovery of St Andrew's Towerwith the second oldest clock in the world. Built in 1386 as a lighthouse and to spot any enemy fleets, today it houses a small museum focused on the history of Chioggia and the famous clock: older than it, by a few months, there is only that of Salisbury cathedral, in the United Kingdom.
But beyond the streets of Chioggia, there is a world to discover: you can go as far as seaside resorts of Sottomarina and Isolaverdediscovering a maze of paths to follow even in bicycle. An unmissable stop is thePellestrina Island, 13 kilometers long: discovering it by bicycle means immersing yourself in maritime traditions, colorful houses protected by eighteenth-century walls and pristine beaches. From here you get to Lido of Venice taking the ferry connection.
The rest of the route is a journey into wonder: from the landing of Alberoni-Rocchetta lighthousea nature reserve area, you arrive in the picturesque village of Malamocco, the ancient place that stood at the mouth of the Brenta. There are two routes available to cyclists: on the cycle path that follows the ridge of the Lido along via Sandro Gallo up to Santa Maria Elisabetta, where you can embark for Venice. Or you can go into the heart of the Lido towards the Marconi seafront, up to Città Giardino, built in Art Nouveau style at the beginning of the 20th century: it is the place to peek among private villas and the large turn-of-the-century hotels, so loved by Hollywood stars. After all, a little further on is the Palazzo del Cinema, which every year attracts the big stars during the Mostra Internazionale d'Arte Cinematografica.
From radicchio to mussels
There gastronomy plays an important role in a holiday in Chioggia, a seaside city with one of the main ports in the Adriatic for fishing activity. Its Fish Market, between Piazza del Polo and the Vena canal, is a spectacle not to be missed among sole, sea bream, cuttlefish, bevarassi, i.e. razor clams, and Chioggia mussels, farmed a stone's throw from the city. Moving towards the Po Delta Natural Park, a Unesco Biosphere reserve, there is the mussel of Scardovari Dop and the pink oyster of the Delta. Then there are the vegetables: the famous Chioggia IGP radicchio, whose cultivation dates back to at least the 1700s and whose bitter aftertaste makes it famous raw in salads, grilled or in Venetian risottos. And the pumpkin of Chioggia.