Welcome to Pellestrina, a charming, quiet island in the Venetian lagoon, known for its serene beaches, local flavor, and traditional way of life.
If Venice is a grand, bustling carnival, then Pellestrina is its gentle, serene lullaby.
With its narrow, sandy island stretch, colorful houses, and friendly locals, it's a place where time seems to slow down, allowing you to fully soak in the essence of the Venetian life.
Pellestrina is the place where you can take a break from the usual tourist hustle and bustle, and give yourself a chance to see, feel, and taste the authentic Venice.
Let's discover its beauty and mystery!
Pellestrina: Unveiling the Island's Charm and Things to Do
Pellestrina, a little-known treasure, lies nestled in the southern part of the Venetian lagoon, stretching like an elegant ribbon between the sea and the lagoon.
It's a haven of tranquility, largely untouched by tourism, offering a glimpse into traditional Venetian culture and lifestyle. The island is home to fishermen and lace makers, and its charm lies in its simplicity and authenticity.
The island is just over 11 kilometers long but never more than a few hundred meters wide.
This creates a unique landscape where the sea, land, and sky seem to merge into one.
Walking along the island, you'll see the beautifully painted houses, fishing nets strung out to dry, and locals going about their daily lives. It's a breath of fresh air, a step back in time, and a stark contrast to the grandeur and crowds of Venice.
Things to Do in Pellestrina: The Unexplored Side of Venice
Visit San Pietro in Volta
San Pietro in Volta is a small village known for its picturesque streets, historic buildings, and quaint shops and restaurants.
One of the highlights of San Pietro in Volta is the Church of San Pietro. This beautiful church dates back to the 16th century and features stunning frescoes and artwork.
Visitors can admire the intricate details of the church's architecture and take in the peaceful ambiance of the space.
The village of Pellestrina
Pellestrina is a small fishing village that offers visitors a glimpse of traditional Venetian life.
As you make your way to Pellestrina from San Pietro, you'll cross a narrow strip of land that separates the island from the mainland. Once you arrive in Pellestrina, you'll notice that the village is laid out in a simple and straightforward manner.
As you wander through the streets of Pellestrina, you'll be struck by the colorful houses, fishing nets, and small boats moored along the shore. The village is home to a thriving fishing industry, and you'll see fishermen at work in the lagoon, hauling in their catch of the day.
Pellestrina is also known for its traditional lace-making, and you can visit local workshops to see this delicate craft in action.
One of the highlights of Pellestrina is its laid-back and relaxed atmosphere. The village is a world away from the hustle and bustle of nearby Venice, and it offers a peaceful respite from the crowds. You can spend your days strolling along the beach, enjoying fresh seafood at local restaurants, or simply soaking up the charming atmosphere of this unique village.
Stroll Along the Murazzi
One of the island's most fascinating features is its defensive wall, which was built in 1744 to protect the village from the fury of the sea.
Prior to the wall's construction, the people of Pellestrina had been fighting a constant battle against the elements, relying on palafitte - wooden structures filled with stones - to hold back the sea. However, the wall finally provided a lasting solution to the problem, allowing the locals to enjoy the island's stunning seaside promenade in peace.
Today, it serves as a pedestrian walkway, offering breathtaking views of the Adriatic Sea. A stroll along the Murazzi is like a walk between two worlds, with the calm, tranquil lagoon on one side and the vast, open sea on the other.
As you explore Pellestrina, be sure to take a stroll along the island's 14-kilometer-long defensive wall. The wall is an impressive feat of engineering, made from Istrian stone and stretching all the way from the Lido to Sottomarina di Chioggia. On one side of the wall, you'll hear the sound of the Adriatic Sea crashing against the concrete, while on the other side, the peaceful waters of the lagoon lap against the shore.
Ca Roman nature reserve
If you're looking for an unspoiled natural paradise on Pellestrina, look no further than Ca' Roman.
Located at the southern end of the island, Ca' Roman is a unique and exceptional ecosystem that boasts stunning beaches, a lush pine forest, and an incredible variety of birdlife.
In fact, the area is home to 170 different species of birds, some of which are very rare, making it one of the most pristine natural reserves in all of Veneto.
To get to Ca' Roman, you'll need to cycle along the narrow Murazzi walls that run along the island's southern coast.
Although the path can be a bit challenging, it's well worth the effort when you arrive at the oasis. Upon arrival, you can leave your bike at the entrance and explore the area on foot.
One of the highlights of Ca' Roman is its vast and pristine beach. The beach is surrounded by lush sand dunes and a verdant forest, creating a truly wild and untamed atmosphere. You can spend your days swimming in the crystal-clear waters, sunbathing on the sandy shores, or exploring the forest and birdwatching.
How to Get to Pellestrina from Venice: Your Journey to Serenity
Getting to Pellestrina can be an adventure in itself.
You can take a private water taxi from Venice, which is a quick but more expensive option.
For a more scenic and budget-friendly route, opt for the ferry boat from Lido di Venezia (Alberoni) to Santa Maria del Mare or from Chioggia (the city located in the southern part of the lagoon). To reach Lido you simply need to take the vaporetto from San Zaccaria (next to Saint Mark's Square).
You can otherwise rent a bike at Lido island and then reach Pellestrina cycling (11 kms).
Venice is so much more than its iconic canals and gondolas. Pellestrina is a testament to that.
This quaint, scenic island is a world away from the touristy areas, offering a slice of the authentic Venetian lifestyle.
So, why wait?
Embark on a journey to discover the hidden charms of Pellestrina and unveil the lesser-known, yet equally enchanting side of Venice.