Early in our trip, we went swimming on Lido, a larger one of the many islands that comprise Venice in northern Italy. Venice Lido (Lido di Venezia) is an 11 km long sandbar on the Adriatic Sea. The Lido is also home to the Venice Film Festival.
We took the vaporetto (water bus) from San Marco to Lido. After meeting up with a local friend, we all walked down Granviale Santa Maria Elisabetta, a wide restaurant- and shop-lined street spanning the narrow island. Officially, the season had closed the day before our visit; the summer scene clearly winding down as several places were closed. Bathing suits on, we headed to the beach-lined Adriatic side of the island. One of the first things I noticed was how much softer the sand felt on my feet compared to the sand at California’s beautiful beaches ― the water was also surprisingly warmer! The small crowd of beachgoers were mostly all gathered in one area near the end of the walkway. Despite that the season was over, there was a lifeguard on duty who tried to block us from bringing Abby onto the beach. Luckily our Italian friend Elisa sorted it out when my broken Italian wasn’t making headway. In the end, we just had to walk down the beach a bit, which was fine by us since it was less crowded there.
Our little group happily trouped down the beach, walking in the water and enjoying the beautiful scenery. Elisa told us about the little huts lining the beach that local families have rented for years; she’d had to clean hers out the day before when the season closed. They were all locked up, which was too bad as we were dying to see inside! Abby was a total baby and clutched onto my shoulder for dear life during our walk in the water; to be fair, she’s never been a huge fan of the ocean with her tiny legs. Everyone else enjoyed the walk through the water, a good workout for your legs. Then the Mamas and Abby rested on the beach and I enjoyed a wonderful swim. If only I’d packed my goggles! Ahh, but it was just perfectly warm and comfortable. I even wore a bikini ― something I haven’t braved stateside in a long time. The Mamas enjoyed their rest ― Mama Jude even got to use her favorite phrase from her Italian lessons: “Assalutamente NO!” on an annoyingly persistent junk salesman. Mama Jude and I also enjoyed a refreshing swim together with Elisa!
After a lovely afternoon on the beach, we stopped for a spritz (traditional Italian happy hour cocktail usually accompanied by a small bite) at a taverna with outdoor tables along the Granviale Santa Maria Elisabetta on the way to the vaporetto stop. [A note for next time: remember the bug spray ― the mosquitoes really come out in the evening.] If you’re looking for a good honeymoon spot, Lido might be it. More Diane’s parents honeymooned in Venice and loved it. The island is filled with romantic hotels and we saw couples riding bicycles all over the island. I was surprised at all the bikes since there are none in Venice. (I longed for my pink beach cruiser back home, and had a random thinking tangent about how those bikes got to Lido.) Overall we enjoyed Lido immensely. I loved how perfect it was for swimming and yet how close it is to the main wonders of Venice.
Dear Readers: Please comment if you want to hear more stories from Venice. Am I just living in the past or do you want to hear more of our adventures during this special trip?