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Holidays in the Venetian Riviera take you on a journey along the coast of Northern Italy, to the enchanting floating city of Venice, built on 118 islands in the Venetian Lagoon.
Venice and its exquisite Byzantine and Gothic architecture top the places to visit list for couples on a romantic getaway. Take a romantic gondola ride under the Bridge of Sighs, or spend a night at the opera at Teatro Le Fenice. If you want to hit the waves for an adrenaline rush, head for Lido di Jesolo, a vivacious beach resort famous for its sand sculptures, water sports and lively bars. Spend the day on the beach before sauntering along the promenade, stopping for a cooling gelato in an ice cream parlour.
Here at Citalia, we live and breathe Italy. We use the expertise we’ve gained over the last 90 years as the leading Italian holiday specialist to ensure our customers have unforgettable holidays.
On a hot summer day, take a trip to Italy’s beautiful beaches. Lido di Jesolo is home to golden sands where you can rent sun loungers and parasols and soak up the sun before taking a cooling dip in the sea. Take boat trips or glide through the waves on a sailboat before settling down for dinner washed down with a glass of wine. The seafood here is excellent, with mussels and other shellfish a must.
The main attraction of a holiday in the Venetian Riviera is Venice. The city is full of remarkable buildings and monuments, and the best way to explore this distinctive city is on the water. Spend 30 minutes on a Vaporetto (water bus) and see the sights along the Grand Canal. You can hop off at the Rialto Bridge, built across the narrowest point of the canal, and pick up souvenirs at the Rialto Market. Take the same water bus and make your way to the Ponte dell'Accademia, where you’ll find the Galleria dell’Accademia, the finest art gallery in the city.
The walled city of Padua is about 30 minutes from Venice by train. Take a trip to Europe’s first botanical gardens and don’t miss the Scrovegni Chapel in the historic centre. Here you’ll find frescoes painted by one of the great Italian masters, Giotto, on display.
Direct flights to Venice Marco Polo airport (VCE) are available from Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds Bradford, London City, London Gatwick, London Heathrow, London Luton, Manchester, Newcastle and Southend and take approximately 2 hours.
Direct flights to Venice Treviso airport (TSF) depart from London Stansted, Leeds Bradford, Bristol and East Midlands and take approximately 2 hours.
Summer on the Venetian Riviera sees temperatures reaching the high 20s and 30s, with both visitors and Italians making a beeline for the beach. If you prefer fewer crowds, however, aim for the spring and autumn months. Although temperatures will be a little cooler, the resorts will be quieter – ideal for visiting the city.
It will come as no surprise that seafood features heavily on the menus of the Venetian Riviera. The region's fishermen originally made Sarde in Soar, or sweet and sour sardines, on their boats. You can now find this typical Venetian dish in most restaurants and cafés along the coast. It’s bursting with different flavours, with the sardines, onions and white wine vinegar giving the dish a distinct tanginess, while raisins and pine nuts are added for sweetness. The sardines are served with another regional staple, grilled polenta.
Each region in Italy boasts its own speciality pasta, and in the Venetian Riviera, Bigoli is king. This thick pasta, often made with duck eggs, looks like Udon noodles and has a rough texture. It goes well with rich, calorie-laden sauces like Bigoli con L'Anatra (bigoli with duck). It's a full-bodied sauce made with slow cooked shredded duck, vegetables, red wine, tomatoes and herbs. Pair the duck with a substantial red wine, preferably with some acidity to counter the richness of the dish. A glass of Castello di Volognano or Chianti goes well.
For dessert, try one of the original street foods of Venice, Frittole. These bite sized pieces of sugar-coated fried doughnuts are infused with raisins and pine nuts. Originating in Venice in the 14th Century, you can now try them with a host of tasty fillings such as custard, chocolate and Chantilly cream. Alternatively, try a Baicoli with your post-meal espresso or hot chocolate. These simple, double baked biscuits have been served for over three centuries and have a light, crunchy texture.
The Venetian Lagoon is thousands of years old, and its shores have been inhabited since Roman times, forming small waterfront resorts that became the Venetian Riviera. The likes of Lido di Jesolo began gaining popularity as holiday resorts in the early 20th century, and continue to do so today. The city of Venice itself was a place of refuge for people fleeing the mainland after the fall of the Roman Empire, and today its canals and lagoon-side location make it one of Italy’s most unique cities.