Away from the tourist-packed attractions of Venice, the laidback island town of Chioggia offers a slice of authentic Venetian lifestyle with none of the hustle and bustle. With pretty canals to explore and historic architecture to admire, it’s a wonderful place to spend a relaxing day in the Adriatic sunshine. [ReadMoreMob]
Situated south of Venice in the Venetian Lagoon, the unpretentious Chioggia may be similar in appearance to its iconic neighbour, but represents a very different experience. The city offers a Venetian lifestyle at a slower, easier pace. The busy fishing marinas and pedestrianised alleyways lined with historic buildings and traditional terracotta-topped houses, are a delight.
Popular highlights include the morning fish market and several sublime seafood restaurants serving the day’s catch. Chioggia has its share of museums and beautiful, centuries-old churches – Chiesa di San Domenico and Chiesa di San Giacomo Apostolo in particular are well worth a visit. The dominating cathedral, or Duomo, at the far end of the Corso also needs uncovering. [ReadMoreDesk]
Chioggia is linked by a bridge to the resort island town of Sottomarina and its long, sandy beach along the Adriatic Coast. The promenade is lined with a number of fantastic restaurants and friendly bars.
Chioggia is one of the biggest and oldest fishing ports in Italy and operates the largest number of fishing boats in the country. Fish Market – wholesale fish market (called Mercato Itico) is across the large canal San Domenico and occupies 11,000 square metres, 5,000 of which are taken by a fancy pavilion built in 1960. The boats moor right next to it and you can see the crates with fish being unloaded under the attentive glare of the many seagulls. There are also large facilities behind the market where fish from all over Italy and the world is handled, stored and processed. Retail market (Pescheria) – is more centrally located and you will find it between the Piazza and the Vena canal. It has a beautifully sculpted main entrance (carved by the Paduan Amleto Sartori), huge red awnings and it houses around 30 large stalls. You can find all sorts of fish and seafood
there, from anchovies to sea bass and then some more.
The Venetian Lagoon stretches from the River Sile in the north to the Brenta in the south, with a surface area of around 550 square kilometres (212 square miles). It is around 8% land, including Venice and Chioggia as well as many other smaller islands. About 11% is permanently covered by open water, or canal, as the network of dredged channels are called, while around 80% consists of mud flats, tidal shallows and salt marshes. The lagoon is the largest wetland in the Mediterranean Basin.
The Chioggia beet, also known as the candy cane or candy stripe beet, hails from Northern Italy and became popular in the 19th century. It’s most notable for its striking deep pink and white spirals, and the beet adds a beautiful pop of colour to salads and soups. Though the candy stripe beet can be prepared much like any other beet, the Chioggia has an especially sweet flavour — and it doesn’t ‘bleed’ as much as regular beets.