E5 – Islands of Venice cycle path
Distance: 40 km
ACTV public boat+bike service.
Route: secondary roads and walking/
Start/finish: Tronchetto Venice
From Chioggia, after visiting the old town centre with its original herringbone layout, the “calli” (narrow lanes), the “campielli” (small squares) and the colourful fish market, you take the short ferry crossing to the island of Pellestrina.
As you descend in the direction of the Ca’ Roman nature reserve, you come to the town of Portosecco, where you may meet the women making lace on lace pillows and the fishermen busy preparing their nets and other equipment. On the northern edge of the island stands the port of San Pietro in Volta with its eighteenth century church surrounded by fishermen’s houses, vineyards and vegetable gardens. From here you can take the ferry to the nearby island of Lido.
The path leads down to the Alberoni nature reserve with its natural sand dunes covered in wild plants and flowers. You can cycle along the road that runs along the lagoon to the old town centre of Malamocco, with its traditional Venetian “calli” and “campielli”. You then go up onto the path built on the “Murazzi”, large stone boulders arranged to provide defence against heavy seas. Once you arrive in Lido you can admire the views and the elegant houses until you come to the large old Jewish Cemetery and then, lastly, to the church of San Nicolò.
At Lido you can wait for the ferry to return to Chioggia, or alternatively visit the island of Sant’Erasmo. In this small island, an easy cycle path passes through the vegetable gardens where the famous purple artichokes of Sant’Erasmo are grown.