I have nothing against Venice. It is an incredible city and should be on everyone’s bucket list, and it’s even where I got engaged! But…you shouldn’t stay there.
The thing about ‘Venezia’ is it’s kind of a tourist trap.
Everything is expensive, the city can be packed with people, even pricey accommodation can be dodgy, and it costs an arm and a leg for just a 45 minute ride on one of the famed gondolas. So how can you still see the city, without becoming disillusioned by it? Simple—stay in Lido!
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I like to think of Lido as the Hamptons of Italy. The perfect place for a getaway, the quiet island features a white sand beach, dozens of delicious restaurants and cafes, cute stores and a laid-back yet classy vibe. Lido is also totally beautiful, as it’s surrounded by water, has gorgeous, colourful hydrangea bushes, picturesque canals and leafy, towering trees. Best of all, it’s just a 20 minute water taxi ride from Venice, and there are boats (vaporettos) that travel back and forth all day. Lido is the perfect spot to unwind for a few days and go at a more leisurely place, while still giving you the option to take in the busy yet beautiful streets of Venice.
Lido is only 12 kilometers long, so you can navigate the entire island quite easily and can choose to stay near the beach or in the quiet residential areas. The ‘hub’ of activity is Gran Viale, a long street which hosts the aforementioned shops and restaurants. Bike are popular here as Lido is so flat, and make it easy to get a good lay of the land. Many hotels rent them out, and if you’re going for romance why not grab a tandem bike for your peddle around the island?
I’m a big beach girl, so I was excited to finally find a place in Italy that offers beaches, without the extortionate prices of Capri or that’s as far away as Sicily. Lido beach is definitely nothing compared to those of the Caribbean or Maldives, but hey, I’ll take what I can get! One notable feature is the hundreds of cabanas that stretch across the sand, which frankly I had never seen so many of. I guess those Italians like their privacy! You can rent one of your own at one of the stalls located nearby, which also sell snacks and water. You can also rent loungers and umbrellas. There isn’t a lot going on in the water in terms of snorkeling action, so you’ll be better off spending the day working on that golden tan.
Have I convinced you to stay in Lido yet? If not, here’s one final anecdote:
After we checked in at our beautiful B&B in Lido, we were heading back out the front gate when a couple asked us through the fence, “Are you staying here? Is it nice?” We told them it definitely was, why? They explained that they were renting a room in Venice, but it was “super expensive and stinky.” Unfortunately for them there were no vacant rooms left in Lido (a fallout of the busy summer months) so back they went to that stinky room in Venezia. I thought about them the next morning, as I lounged in the beautiful back garden, being served fresh pastries with jam enjoying the quiet and sunshine!
How to get there: You can get to Venice via train, plane or automobile. When you arrive, hire a water taxi or hop on a vaparetto to take you across to Lido. Vaporetto travel cards can be purchased, which cost 18-50€ depending on how many days you’re using it. There is also a youth pass available for those aged 14-29, who show their Rolling Venice Card (4€), which gives you three days of unlimited rides for 18€
When to go: The famous Venice Film Festival happens every September, when the international jet set flock here for their turn on the red carpet. You’d be wise to stay away during that time, unless you have a big bank account! The summer months are extremely popular when temperatures hit about 28 degrees, but fall and spring also have pleasant weather. While it doesn’t snow, temperatures in winter can be freezing.
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