• Nicoletta Fornaro

Pure Wilderness in Venice: Alberoni Beach


What a fantastic day I had yesterday! As some of you know, I'm home alone until tomorrow. Initially I thought I was going to seize this opportunity to change a couple of things at home and move some furniture, but then: who cares? It's too hot and I want to go out, see people and have fun! So yesterday I moved early and, despite the bad weather forecast, I went to Alberoni beach, at the far end of the Lido. a corner of pure wilderness in the Venetian lagoon.

GETTING THERE

To get there I took a vaporetto from San Zaccaria to Lido and then the bus line B direction "Alberoni Spiagge", which stops in front of the roundabout just next to the entrance to the protected pinewood. Another -and much nicer- way to reach Alberoni is by shuttle boat from Zattere, the line is called Terminal Fusina (click here for timetables) and it's a direct private boat. The boat changes, so sometimes there's a taxi-like boat, while other times there's a vaporetto-like boat but with tables where one can play cards or chess or whatever else. I love this shuttle, as it passes behind San Servolo, San Lazzaro and Sacca Sessola (which is now called with the more sophisticated sounding name Isola delle Rose, meaning island of roses.). The ticket is a little bit more expensive, but it's really handy and definitely worth it!

CROSSING THE PINEWOOD

I like to get off in front of the private beach and cross the protected pinewood rather than getting off at Faro (Lighthouse) not only because trees offer shade and protection from the heat, but also because you may sometimes meet animals like pheasants, hares and quite a few species of birds! This natural oasis is incredibly peaceful and at its right there is a wonderful golf course where I'm planning to virtually take you before September (dad plays golf and I asked him to invite me for lunch!). The easiest and fastest way is to go straight on and follow the larger path that takes you straight to the seawall, but I opted for the more tortuous way and turned left, climbing some "stairs" and reaching the sand dunes. The view is amazing: curvy hills of thin sand, wild plants, flowers and trees and -in front of your eyes- the sea. On your right, the seawall with the lighthouse.

THE SEAWALL (DIGA)

It's possible to rent a sun bed and an umbrella at the kiosk at the foot of the seawall or -in case you're broke like me- just bring your own towel and find a comfortable spot either along the shore or on a stone along the seawall. Some of them happen to be really flat, but it's best to get there early because the usual comers tend to occupy them from early morning. I wanted to get a little tan, but being unable to stay still after half an hour I got up from my spot and sat under the shade offered by one of the fishermen houses. A lady looked at me and asked me if I was finding the climate too damp, so we started chatting and thanks to her I learned about the Venice based joint purchasing group Veneziano Gas and all the delicious organic produce she buys! Most of the food is Km 0, then they also get things from other regions, like oranges, lemons, almonds and olive oil from Sicily and Puglia. Well, this was very interesting for me and I will definitely contact them soon to see how to become a member.

When she left I went for a walk as far as the lighthouse, full of murales and sculptures realised with natural materials. When I go with Vito, he likes to stop before the lighthouse and dive from a sort of platform. After all this walking, it was time for me to head to the kiosk and have something to eat!

MACONDO - THE COOLEST KIOSK EVER

I already dedicated a post to Macondo Alberoni (click here to read my post), a stunning kiosk where time seems to stop. At the weekend this place gets really crowded and festive, people coming by boat from all over the mainland and Venice go there to eat, drink, sing and have fun. Personally, I prefer going there during the week when it's much quieter and relaxing. I had a chat with Elisa, the manager, a girl who's my age and that I have known forever. She just had a baby and I thought she looked just marvellous, happy and fulfilled! The entire staff is really nice and friendly and I spending time there is a real pleasure. In general, the food offer consists of cold pasta, rice salads, fruit salads, prawns and sardines in saor, boiled octopus and express dishes with fish like sautéed clams or mussels and pasta with seafood. For lunch I had a basmati rice salad with aubergines, sunflower seeds and paprika and some water. Light but flavoursome and filling. More or less you'll spend between 3,50 (for a toasted sandwich) and 13 euros (for express pasta/seafood) for the food plus the drinks.

In the afternoon I like to snack with a slice of water melon and/or drink their almond milk. My husband had always had it here, where it's delicious and sweet, and when I bought almond milk for home and he tried it he was so disappointed it didn't have the same flavour (yes darling, the one I got was an unsweetened organic almond drink...sorry)! While eating I had the fortune to meet a dear friend from Piedmont, a wine producer by the way, with whom I work every year at the Film Festival in September. She's really nice and was so kind to tell me how much she enjoyed my post on the new ceramics shop in Via Garibaldi. We spoke about other shops selling beautiful housewares, flower shops and -yes, we did- clothes too! She wanted the addresses and suggested I write a post on this sort of shopping in Venice, so I will! Thank you Francesca for your suggestion, I'll definitely mention you when I post it! At one point, while we were chatting, we heard a light thunder and looked at the sky, which had suddenly become pitch dark. Well, I paid and went to recover my belongings and then we both fled. She stayed on the island, while I went back to Venice.

Obviously, in the end nothing happened! No storm nor anything else, so I called a friend and went out to enjoy an aperitif. I really enjoyed my day and I strongly recommend finding the time to explore Alberoni to anyone into nature, wilderness and easy-going and friendly places. The beach is lovely and the people that go that far just want to have a good time, so it's perfect. In the evening you can stay in Alberoni town and have a pizza at the Bagni Alberoni or go to Malamocco and have a (-n expensive) fish meal at Ponte di Borgo. Otherwise, for other suggestions on where to eat on the Lido have a look at My Lido Food Guide.

I'll say goodbye for now, but I'll be in touch quite soon! Have a great day!

#lido #daytrips

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