Lido is the island which separates the Venice lagoon and the Adriatic Sea, and it mixes beautiful natural landscapes with the glamour of Art Nouveau hotels and the atmosphere of the Venice Film Festival, which takes place here since its first edition in the 1930s.
This tour will allow you to enjoy special views on Venice biking along the lagoon, while discovering the most interesting and unique spots of the island, like the church where the Republic of Venice used to celebrate its maritime dominion for 1.000 years, the ancient Jewish cemetery or the lighthouse which marks the entrance from the sea to the lagoon poetically set at the end of an area of outstanding natural beauty.
Biking towards the other side of the island, we will be able to admire the beauty of the Art Nouveau hotels, the most dazzling vacation homes to aristocrats and VIPs since the early 1900s, finally reaching the eclectic Hotel Excelsior and the Venice Film Festival venues, where movie stars gather on the red carpet every year.
We will bike also along the canals of Malamocco, a colourful fishing village that’s like a miniature version of Venice. We will continue cycling through a natural reserve with enchanting dune fields where Byron used to gallop during his early morning rides. There will also be some time to relax like the locals do, by heading to quiet Alberoni beach for a drink or a swim.
On the return route we will be able to enjoy a breath-taking view on the city of Venice, as well as on the charming islands of the South side of the lagoon.
- Meeting at Lido Santa Maria Elisabetta: We will meet at Santa Maria Elisabetta on Lido Island, where we will rent our bikes and start our tour! You will choose the bike you prefer.
- Old Jewish Cemetery: Nowadays a quiet garden which was Venice's main Jewish cemetery from 1386 until the 18th century. From the gate we will see the ancient tombs, which range in design from Venetian gothic to distinctly Ottoman styles.
- San Nicolò church: The place where the traditional thanksgiving mass of the Sposalizio del Mare ("Marriage of the Sea") is performed, a ceremony which used to symbolize the maritime dominion of Venice.
- San Nicolò natural reserve and lighthouse: After biking in a protected natural zone, we will continue along an old pier between the sea and the harbour mouth until the lighthouse. It will be a great place to see the Lido coastline and the outlines of the Grand Hotel des Bains and Hotel Excelsior
- Grand Hotel des Bains: A former luxury hotel, built in 1900 to attract wealthy tourists, it is remembered for hosting German writer Thomas Mann in 1911 and for being the location of movies like "Death in Venice" (inspired by Mann0s books) by Visconti (1971) and the English Patient (1996).
- Venice Film Festival and Hotel Excelsior: The oldest movie festival in the world is held here every year from late August to early September, with screenings taking place in the historic Palazzo del Cinema. The still running Art Nouveau Hotel Excelsior (1908) usually hosts producers and actors during the Festival.
- Murazzi: The route will be wild as we will bike along the Murazzi, a scenic route following the Adriatic sea. Murazzi is a remarkable 18th cent. engineering work, designed to keep high seas from crashing into the lagoon, an effective breakwater even today.
- Alberoni beach: The natural beach of Alberoni is characterised by a maritime pine forest which slopes down to the Lido’s wildest most scenic beach. These enchanting dune fields have been the subjects of Shelley’s poems and used to host Lord Byron’s early morning rides. This beach is often virtually deserted, except a plethora of marine birds and few kite surfers or windsurfers on windy days.
- Malamocco: From the beach we will enter this small fisherman village passing over Ponte di Borgo and explore the canals and calli or a less overwhelming lagoon town with just a few churches and a Gothic palazzo, a small miniature of Venice!
- View on Poveglia Island: The route will continue on the lagoon side of the island, with views of the island of Poveglia. From 1776 the island was used as a quarantine station for those suffering from plague and other diseases, and later as a mental hospital, closed in 1968. Because of this, it is believed that paranormal activities take place here.
- View on Lazzaretto Vecchio: The route will continue on the lagoon side of the island, with views of the island of Lazzaretto Vecchio.Between 1403 and 1630 it hosted a hospital which focused on patients affected by plague and leprosy. It was later used, as were other islands, as a military post.
- View on San Lazzaro degli Armeni: The route will continue on the lagoon side of the island, with views of San Lazzaro degli Armeni island. It is a small island in the Venetian Lagoon which has been home to the monastery of the Mekhitarists, an Armenian Catholic congregation, since 1717.
- Lido center & Hotel Hungaria: Hotel Ausonia & Hungaria (1913) is another remarkable example of luxury tourism dated back one century ago, thanks to the beautiful ceramic tiles on the main facade, recently renovated.
- Design and creation of the tour
- Authorized Guide service
- Nature and interpretive guide & tour leader
- Traditional or eco bike rental
- Personal expenses