Lido Top Tips – If you’re planning a holiday to Venice this summer, why not consider making a day trip to the Lido? With award-winning sandy beaches, elegant Art Deco architecture and a wide range of sporting activities, it has a lot to offer – just 15 minutes by boat from Piazza San Marco. Here are a few ideas to inspire the perfect Lido day out:
Hire a beach cabana at the Grand Hotel Excelsior: During the early 20th century, the Venice Lido was the most fashionable seaside resort in Italy. Today, its glamour may have faded slightly, but pay a visit to the Grand Hotel Excelsior and you’ll immediately be transported back to the old-world glitz and luxury of the island’s glory days. If you fancy topping up your tan in style, hire one of the cabanas on the hotel’s private beach, and order waiter service from the comfort of your sun bed.
Have a round of golf at the Circolo Golf Venezia: Few visitors to Venice know that the city boasts its own 9-hole golf course. Situated on the southern tip of the Lido, in a lush green area that once served as a barracks for Austrian soldiers, it is one of the city’s hidden gems. Founded in 1928, it ranks among the oldest Golf Clubs in Italy, and has welcomed numerous famous guests including Mussolini, Hitler and the Duke of Windsor. Clubs are available to hire, and visitors are permitted to play on a day rate. At the end of your round, cool off with a drink on the charming verandah.
Rent Bikes and cycle along the murazzi: If you feel like letting off steam (or working off that extra slice of pizza from the night before), hire bikes from one of the many rental shops lining Viale Santa Maria Elisabetta, and head off on a ride along the Lido’s scenic coastal cycle-way. The sea walls are dotted with beach shacks and shelters that make picturesque picnic sites, but be warned, they tend to be popular with locals – so arrive early to bag a prime spot.
Go Wild at the Alberoni Nature Reserve: Located at the south end of the Lido, the Alberoni Oasis is a beautiful nature reserve composed of a pine forest and complex dune system, immortalized for its beauty in the poetry of Byron and Goethe. The beaches along the western shore are wild and spectacular, littered with bleached drift-wood and home to a number of protected bird species. At the far end of the beach, half buried by the sand and shaded by tamerisks, you’ll find the wonderfully bohemian Macondo bar and cafe. Accessible only by boat or by bicycle, it’s a closely-guarded Venetian secret that tourists rarely discover. If you’re an early riser, join the locals at one of the Vinyasa Yoga sessions on the beach; there are three upcoming classes on 16th, 21st and 24th June from 10am – 11am.