Located in the southernmost outpost of the Venetian lagoon, in a strategic position to defend the Most Serene Republic of Venice, Chioggia, the ancient Clodia, today appears as a cheerful, lively city on the water.
Chioggia is full of splendid historic buildings interspersed with small canals connected by classic bridges and an incredible amount of people who, at all hours, move on foot and by bicycle, and, as in Venice, aboard boats of all kinds.
The party atmosphere reigns supreme between the main street and the adjacent streets, where you will come across characteristic seafood restaurants.
And fresh fish is one of the main characteristics of this beautiful town. Today Chioggia boasts one of the largest fisheries in Italy, well organized and managed, which allows the city to have fresh fish every day. Every morning, adjacent to the main street, the famous retail fish market is celebrated, open to all, where you can experience an emotion of bygone times in a location with an incredible atmosphere. You will find the locals intent on bargaining for the delights of the sea, tourists looking for a souvenir photo, curious people wandering among the fish stalls, and above all loads of freshly caught fish.
And if you happen to be here on a Thursday, be careful, the entire corso becomes a gigantic local market, one of the largest in Veneto, called “el zioba” meaning “on Thursdays” in dialect. But the apex of the food and wine culture of the city of Chioggia takes place during the month of July with the famous fish festival which for 80 years has attracted thousands of tourists from all over Italy.
But Chioggia is not only fishing and great food, but it also boasts centuries of history. A visit to the centenary cathedral as well as the tower with the oldest clock in the world is a must. Not to mention its museums dedicated to the lagoon and to Adriatic zoology where inside you will find an 8-meter embalmed shark, which ended up by mistake in the nets of the Chioggia fishermen in 2003.
But let’s go back to the main street, the beating heart of the city. A true piazza developed over time, full of bars, shops, porticos, restaurants and buildings in Venetian style. It culminates with the small square where the famous Vigo bridge is located, made famous by the “cat” statue (supposedly built intentionally small to show Venice it wasn’t impressed with its rule).
And here, right at this point where the walk ends the incredible scenery of the Venetian lagoon opens up. An endless coming and going of boats dedicated to work, entertainment, transport, and especially tourism. From here in fact (but not only from here) for just a few euros you can take a tour of the canals of Chioggia, or even go by boat to the island of San Pietro in Volta, a long strip of land between the Adriatic Sea and the Venetian lagoon.
And if you love the sea … Chioggia is connected by a long driveway with its sister Sottomarina, very famous for its beaches famous throughout Europe for its high iodine content. You will find the inevitable fish restaurants, an infinity of hotels, modern campsites, theme parks for children, organized beaches, and much more.
Do not miss the dam, huge boulders defending the beach and delimiting the access channel to the city, a beloved destination by the locals who frequent it at all hours. A very long walk suspended between the sea, the lagoon and the beach among ancient renovated fishing balances, which will take you right in front of one of the most beautiful stretches of the Adriatic Sea.
A romantic, active, colorful city to visit at any time of the year and not just on weekends.
Photo copyrights: www.confesercenti.ve.it; www.itlietuviai.it
Article by: S. Ghezzo