When we think of Venice and going to the beach, the first place that comes to mind is The Lido. My friend Pamela still talks about one August when she had what she describes as “The Great Gatsby” beach experience there–all so very luxurious, with an amazing seafood lunch, a huge pool, surrounded by loads of fashionable Italians–ladies in big hats and flowing caftans, etc.
Then there’s my friend Angela, a Lido native born and bred, who says, “To get away from the crowds of the Lido in the summer, we go to Sant’Erasmo.” This is the island that lies between Murano and Burano. It’s called The Secret Garden of Venice, as its covered with vegetable gardens and orchards that have supplied Venice markets for centuries–And what vegetables! White asparagus, the finest artichokes, sweet peas, tiny delicious eggplants… AND there’s a dock and tiny beach to take in the sun and enjoy the calm shallow water, without any crowds.
It’s also great to rent bikes and ride the 3.5 mile flat loop around the island, along a quiet path with pretty views of the Venice mainland and the lagoon.
AND to make the Golden Day complete, there is one restaurant on the island, the Ca’ Vignotto (Via Forti 71, 041 244 4000, lunch daily, dinner Sat only, reservations essential)–that serves just-picked deliciousness, at very reasonable prices. It’s a popular place for locals to go for a divine Sunday lunch.
To get there take the #13 Vaporetto to the Capannone stop–it’s about a 45 minute ride from the mainland. Bike rentals are available at Lato Azzurro (041 523 0642), which is also a B&B where you can check in for a very peaceful stay.