To celebrate May Day we decided to go to the Lido. With the long weekend, central Venice was over packed with people and, considering that from Saint Mark's to Lido it's only a 15 minute boat ride, the temptation was too strong.
Once off at Santa Maria Elisabetta, we hopped on an A bus (direction Alberoni Faro Rocchetta) and headed towards our favourite place in Lido: Chiosco Macondo.
To me, this kiosk is a truly special place; I don't even know how many afternoons and summer days I spent here, anyway I have some great memories and I made some precious friends.
The location alone is fantastic, you are only a few meters from the sea and on your right there is the longest (together with the one in San Nicolò) pier in Lido, ending with a characteristic lighthouse. I recommend going for a walk along the entire pier, in fact in summer you will be able to see some works of art and curious graffitis where the lighthouse is and, of course, some fishermen with their fishing rods.
When in Alberoni, we spend our day in between the sea, the beach bed and the kiosk. Just relaxing...
As you can read from the sign, only coffee (no: macchiato, macchiatone, cappuccino, and so on). Come on, you're at the beach, it's hot, why would you want to drink something steaming? What you'll find here, besides wine and beer, are fresh juices, almond milk, granita, organic ice-tea and lemonade.
If you crave sweets, don't worry: there are some delicious oat and chocolate chip cookies (GMO free and with no yeasts), yogurt served with fresh fruit and slices of fruit (the offer changes according to the different periods, you may find melon, watermelon, peaches, strawberries...it depends!).
Another option is to snack on (organic) toasted Sicilian almonds.
As you can see, everything is natural and fresh. I find it amazing that a place only a few meters from the sea manages to prepare so many delicious things and I love to have lunch here. If you're more an evening person, don't worry: it's also possible to organise dinner parties, which normally include pasta with seafood and grilled fish.
For lunch Chiosco Macondo normally offers different types of salads (like mozzarella and tomato, rice and veggies, cous cous with prawns and so on), sautéed mussels or clams or pasta with seafood. The fish is sourced locally and Elisa -the manager, a real character!- knows the fishmongers personally and is -rightly- very proud about this.
We arrived quite early so we first had a coffee with a few cookies and then went for a walk. The weather wasn't on our side, it was very windy and chilly, yet I felt incredibly relaxed. Alberoni beach is a magical place, where time seems to stop. To get there you can either walk the whole pier from Faro Rocchetta or, if you take a B bus and get off at Bagni Alberoni, cross a beautiful protected pine wood. From the pier you can see the island of Pellestrina, another place I recommend visiting if you manage to find the time.
When we returned from our walk we were starving. We ordered half a litre of house wine, some bussolai (typical roundish breadsticks) and then lunch! I opted for a black rice salad with tomatoes, zucchini, cucumber, celery, carrots, almonds and fresh mint and it tasted incredible. So fresh and tasty, delicious and healthy at the same time. The mint leaves combined with the cucumber left a lovely aftertaste in my mouth and the toasted almonds...well, so good!
Vito went for the sautéed mussels! Everything was delicious and his dish was amazing: simple, fresh, garnished only with a little bit of parsley and super flavourful.
We love this place: it's far, thus the people that choose to come here do it because they are specifically looking for relaxation and fun, it's beautiful and extremely colourful, the food is fantastic and the people are even better. What more could we ask for?
The coloured wooden tables and the furniture in general emanate positive vibes and it's a place of feast. In summer there are concerts and dinner parties going on and the customers are mostly habitués. Once one learns about this place...it's the end: loyalty is the natural consequence. Obviously people come and people go, but every summer I meet the same (and new) people and, personally, I particularly enjoy catching up on the news and seeing old friends.
I highly recommend visiting this place. I know not many of you will find the time, but if you are in Venice more than 3 days, do consider it! Especially at the weekend. From now (May) util late September, central Venice will be over crowded and if you want to avoid finding yourself in that sort of situation (when it's difficult to move around, people keep coming against you, the queues are never ending and so on)... hop on a vaporetto and come to this corner of paradise!
Alberoni beach is frequented by many wind and kite surfers and is studded with little beach houses made with pieces of wood. So beautiful...