Lido

Lido

[lee-doh]

Venice's Lido is an 11-mile (18 km) long sandbar, home to about 20,000 residents, greatly augmented by the (mainly Italian) tourists who move in every summer. The Venice film festival takes place at the Lido every September.

Geography

The island is home to three settlements. The Lido itself, in the north, is home to the Film Festival, the Grand Hotel des Bains, the Venice Casino and the Grand Hotel Excelsior. Malamocco, in the centre, is the first and for a long time the only settlement. It was at one time home to the Doge of Venice. Alberoni at the southern end is home to the golf course.

At least half the Adriatic side of the island is constituted by a sandy beach, much of which belongs to the various hotels that house the summer tourists. These include the renowned Excelsior and the Des Bains, setting for Thomas Mann's classic novel Death in Venice. These beaches are private, though towards the northern and southern ends of the island there are two enormous public beaches. The Adriatic Sea is fairly clean and warm, ideal for children, with only the occasional jellyfish to disturb swimming.

The heart of the island is the Gran Viale Santa Maria Elisabetta, a wide street approximately 700 m long that leads from the lagoon on one side to the sea on the other. It houses hotels, shops, and tourist-centric restaurants. At the lagoon end of the Gran Viale, you find the boats that connect to Venice (15'), the mainland (35'), the islands and the Marco Polo airport (60').

History

In 1202 at the beginning of the Fourth Crusade, it was used as a camp by tens of thousands of crusaders, who were blockaded there by the Venetians when they could not pay for the Venetian ships they needed for transport.

The island's casino has recently closed down—it used to operate in the summer months, moving to Palazzo Vendramin Calergi in Venice for the winter.

Notes and references

External links

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