A springtime stroll

It’s time to abandon the customary and crowded tourist routes and instead, take a walk between the sea and nature, in many places that could be easily reached from St. Mark’s Square in just a little time.

With the arrival of summer, you might feel the need to seek out some peaceful areas away from the buzz of the crowded spots of the city, in search for a relaxing atmosphere in nature.

One recommended stroll runs along the “murazzi” (coastal gates protecting the Venetian lagoon) and leads all the way to the small village of Malamocco at the Lido.

It can be reached on foot within a couple of hours, or by renting a bicycle from one of the hirers found at S. Maria Elisabetta when getting off the vaporetto at the Lido.

The beach awaits after going down the entire Gran Viale by foot. Continuing to the right and following the sandy shore, you can reach the entrance of a narrow street that runs along the “murazzi”, where you can also access it by bicycle.

The “murazzi”, built during the period of the Republic of Venice, were made from large blocks of stone coming from the Istrian coast in order to protect the lowest part of the coastline from the fury of the sea and erosion, ensuring safety and navigation in the lagoon.

Following the big flood of 1966, these defences were strengthened, but the narrow road mentioned previously runs below them and offers an unusual and fascinating panoramic view.

On one side, there is the view of the Adriatic Sea. If the weather is favourable you can also go swimming. On another side, there is a continuous series of cane thickets and brambles which conceals the town from sight, and where from time to time you can witness the remains of the Austrian fortifications and bunkers dating to WWII.

Narrow paths lead to the town that, at a certain point, thins out and you are left between the sound of the sea and the whistle of the wind when, almost all of a sudden, a bell tower marking the arrival of our stroll appears.

A path descends in the midst of brambles and cane thickets seemingly towards nothing, but then it continues to lead you to Malamocco, which you enter by crossing the charming and characteristic “Ponte di Borgo” bridge and you find yourself in an area of Venice from ancient times.

By taking a short stroll, you can admire the church and the house of the podestà close to several well curbs bearing the emblems of St. Mark’s lion.

The ideal moment has come to enjoy the two small restaurants found here in order to savour delicious seafood, accompanied by a glass of white wine, in the company of the local patrons absorbed in their chitchat.

There is also a couple of lovely “hotel de charme” in the village where you can get inspired while enjoying the sunset from the terrace of the lagoon and admiring Venice from afar, as happened to Hugo Pratt, the creator of Corto Maltese, who set some of his comic strips here.

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