Chioggia and Pellestrina: Bikes, Handbikes and Gastronomy

Chioggia with its historic center and the Island of Pellestrina, nestled in the Venice Lagoon, are an attraction for tourists who are passionate about gastronomy but also about bike touring and handbike.

On a day in August, with Fausto, companion of many handbike raids, we decided to go and meet Kapitan Memo, creator of the "Get on board" project (see link https://www.facebook.com/saliabordochioggia )

Kapitan Memo (https://www.facebook.com/kapitan.memo.3) has adapted a professional fishing boat into a pleasure boat, also suitable for sport fishing as well as simple excursions.

Just think that it can take on board up to 10 people in wheelchairs and that the boat itself can also be driven by a person sitting in their wheelchair.

Last but not least, it is also equipped with an accessible bathroom.

Unfortunately, due to a series of unfortunate coincidences, we were not able to take a sea ride, but we went to see the boat at its dock

 

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Under the arcades of Chioggia that flank Corso del Popolo in the center of Chioggia
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The boat docked at the pier in Chioggia for the Sali a Bordo project

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Historic Center of Chioggia

After meeting Gianluca, this is the name of the Kapitan Memo, and asking him to tell us about his project, we left to visit the historic center of Chioggia.

Chioggia overlooks the Venice Lagoon and is a beautiful town to visit, with interesting views, beautiful palaces overlooking the central street where you can see in the decorations, and in many other details, the belonging to Venice.

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Lion of Venice on the Arch: entrance to the historic center of Chioggia
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Façade of a building in the historic center of Chioggia
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Boat in the historic center of Chioggia decorated with traditional phrases and proverbs
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Under the arcades of Chioggia that flank Corso del Popolo in the center of Chioggia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The ApeCar of Chioggia

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ApeCar nautical version along one of Chioggia's internal canals

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of the most amusing moments was the discovery of a "Chioggiotta" version of the well-known ApeCar.

Unfortunately we were on the wrong side of the canal and separated by a bridge of steps, otherwise we would have done our best to cross the canal and go and see it up close and maybe meet the person who modified this vehicle, generally used for small transport, into a water vehicle, at least it seemed that way to us.

Unfortunately, however, we have not been able to further deepen the information on this realization, but on the next tour in Chioggia... 😉

From Chioggia to Pellestrina by motorboat with handbikes for bike touring

We took the motorboat at the end of Corso del Popolo at the ACTV dock. Return ticket € 1.50 each way. Total 3 €uro per person round trip.

Attention! The bumps of the connection ramps are quite steep and so we got help from the service sailors who are always super helpful.

We entered directly with the handbike mounted and, in addition to us, there were at least a dozen tourists' bicycles.

The transfer takes just over twenty minutes and during the transfer you will also be able to admire the structures built for the Mose, which you pass by and see the Oasis and Nature Reserve of Cà Roman; An oasis with a dune landscape of great environmental value but on which unfortunately I have no information about accessibility.

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With Fausto at the ACTV ticket office after buying the vaporetto tickets for the round trip from Pellestrina
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Fausto on the vaporetto with Handbike

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally on the island of Pellestrina

When we arrived at the island of Pellestrina we studied the itinerary, to be followed with our handbike, on the signboard (we had not had time to study it before, but if you can do it otherwise you risk missing interesting points).

Actually, our goal was to "discover" it by wandering around and the only appointment was for lunch at the Campiello restaurant where we had booked to go and eat the famous Fish Pie.

So we went for a walk around Pellestrina, a very narrow 7 km long island, just think that the narrowest point is 23 meters.

A piece of advice: nose up and curiosity

Walking around with the handbike, paying attention to the details, colors and decorations of the houses. You will find homes of all sizes and interior courtyards as well-kept as a dining room, where every leaf, every plant has its place.

Of course, the colors of the houses are the first thing you will notice, sometimes so dazzling, while sometimes they almost seem to disappear.

Here the play of contrasts characterizes houses, streets and corners to be discovered.

If you have a passion for photography, you will surely find something to indulge in.

 

The route followed to explore the island of Pellestrina

We started the route with our handbikes, following the side of the lagoon, slipping from time to time, in the streets, passing from campiello to campiello, visiting the most fascinating squares until we reached the end of the track. Once we crossed the island we reached the embankment of the wall that defends the island and the lagoon from sea water and once we found an access ramp we climbed on it to try to see the sea.

Through a dense vegetation of tamarisk plants, there are very few glimpses where you can see the sea and, unfortunately, there are no accesses that allow a descent to cross the sand dune and get directly to that sea that we can only glimpse for small glimpses.

We followed this route to the next ramp, with some discomfort for our handbikes because in some passages, a little bumpy and a little invaded by the sand carried by the wind through the gaps in the wall, the wheels sank, but it was worth it.

We then slipped back into the streets and squares to enjoy the uniqueness of this island.

What to eat

The island of Pellestrina is famous for its typical restaurants and its cuisine linked to the sea and based on fresh fish such as: schie, shrimps, cuttlefish, mantis shrimp, scallops and above all its "Fish Pie".

The fish pie

As in all traditional recipes, here too there are variations and customizations on which experts stop to discuss to the point of invoking sacrilege.

But since I am a "forest" and a layman, I will tell you that we chose to go and eat at the restaurant "Il Campiello" where the famous pasticcio was presented to me in the crock that was still sizzling.

Béchamel sauce, fine fish and linguine, instead of puff pastry.

I liked it, as well as the raw appetizer (the creamed cod and the saor seamstresses are inevitable) and the grilled prawns that Fausto took.

Considering the day with a sun that beat down at 35 degrees, but certainly perceived more, we avoided wine (sacrilege!) preferring cold water!

The accessibility of the Campiello restaurant

We ate in the square where a gust of wind flowed that made lunch pleasant.

The restaurant is equipped with two ramps, to overcome the steps of about ten centimeters that connect first the porch and then the entrance of the restaurant, where there is also a bathroom of adequate size with grab bars in the right places.

 

Sleeping in a V4A facility in Veneto – see this LINK

ACTV – For information on ticket costs https://actv.avmspa.it/it

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