Boating vacations: the most beautiful beaches in Veneto and Friuli Venezia-Giulia


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Brussa Beach is part of the Vallevecchia Nature Oasis.

The most beautiful natural beaches of the Upper Adriatic meet between the mouth of the Po River and Trieste. Some have preserved an environment very similar to the pre-industrial environment of our coasts.

Between long stretches of sand and fragrant Mediterranean scrub.

The first interesting beaches in Veneto are those in the Delta Po area around Porto Tolle and Porto Viro: the most beautiful is the wild beach of Scano Boa, where lagoon fauna lives freely.

Scano Boa
Scano Boa

A few miles further N, past the Po di Maistra, is the beautiful Boccasette beach: this is a long, narrow strip of sand that is connected to the mainland by a curious floating footbridge. Around only brackish vegetation, free-roaming birds and, in summer, a bar opens.


Just over a mile N of Chioggia, within the Venice Lagoon, faces the O side of the long island of Pellestrina. It is here that Caroman Beach is discovered, a beach built over the centuries by the force of the sea currents that have accumulated the golden sand here, giving life to the sandy shore.


Again, this is a wild and rich environment of nature in the wild, behind which one can also admire a wide strip of backcountry forest that is the habitat of various birds, including the Kentish plover and the herring gull.

The Fratino is a tiny wader that lives on our beaches.

Opposite to the Pellestrina shoreline to the NE, the Cavallino shoreline is another long strip of land separating the lagoon from the open sea.

From the SO end of Punta Sabbioni one reaches the so-called Cavallino Beach, a sandy shore surrounded by dense and varied lagoon and marsh vegetation, among which large specimens of maritime pine and black alder also grow.

Cavallino Beach
Cavallino Beach

At the Mouth of the Piave River and not far from the village of Eraclea mare, however, is the wide free beach backing onto a wild body of water known as the Dead Lagoon. It is another area rich in pristine marsh flora, and specimens of heather, sea carrot and soldanella can be seen there.

Next, between Bibione and Porto di Baseleghe is the so-called Spiaggia della Brussa, a sandy beach protected behind by low dunes that slope into a rich, green pine forest, in the shade of which one can relax after swimming.

Instead, the long beach that faces the island of Banco d’Orio, from which it takes its name, is part of the municipality of Grado. Lush, marshy nature grows on the N side.

Not far from Sistiana, however, is the coastline of Costa dei Barbari, a pebbly bay of great beauty, completely surrounded by shrubs.

Barbary Coast
Barbary Coast

To visit: the Serenissima, but not only

As perhaps not everyone knows, and interestingly, the shape of the main town of Venice, seen from above, closely resembles that of a fish, with its tail pointing eastward. This is also the area considered the center of the city, what is traditionally divided into the six sestieri of Dorsoduro, Santa Croce, San Polo, San Marco, Cannaregio and Castello.

Developed on 118 islets of various sizes, which are connected by 354 bridges spanning 177 rios and canals, Venice has its heart in the monumental St. Mark’s Square, the only city space large enough to deserve the name piazza. The others are in fact called “camps.”

Among the city’s many canals then, the main ones are the Grand Canal and the Giudecca Canal: the former cuts the city in two by tracing an “S,” the latter is located to the south and separates the historical center proper from the Giudecca Island.

Thus Venice has always been a “water” city, even though water itself has always given it concerns. And just the sea passes under one of the symbols of the city, the Rialto Bridge: erected in 1591, it remained the only way to cross the Grand Canal on foot for three centuries. The other symbol of the Serenissima is, of course, St. Mark’s Basilica: the building, which appears in the center of the square of the same name, is covered with mosaics that tell the city’s long history. Right next to it also stands the beautiful Ducal Palace: uniting them is the Porta della Carta, a wonderful work by Bartolomeo Bon. Built in the 15th century with marble from Istria, the palace was the historic seat of government of the Republic of Venice.

Another soul, maritime, of Venice is the Arsenale, a place that encompasses a very large part of the city and was the heart of the Venetian shipbuilding industry from the 12th century onward. The most prosperous period of the Serenissima is linked to it: thanks to the impressive ships built here, Venice was able to fight the Turks in the Aegean Sea and conquer trade throughout Europe.

Venice Arsenal
The Venice Arsenal in the heart of the lagoon system

Grado, the “little Venice”

It too has a history dating back thousands of years, is in the center of the lagoon of the same name and was built on a set of small islands connected by bridges. This is Grado, a beautiful seaside town in Friuli Venezia Giulia and, as far as possible, a rival to the “great” Venice in beauty and architectural charm. Its inhabited area includes about 30 islands: in addition to the largest, the island of Schiusa and the island of Barbana are also permanently inhabited.

Among the most fascinating monuments is first and foremost the Early Christian Basilica of St. Euphemia, a building with a simple, linear and severe style in its exposed light brick construction, completed in 579 AD. Also dating to the same historical period is the other early Christian basilica of Santa Maria delle Grazie, which overlooks the Campo dei Patriarichi, a few steps from the Baptistery.


Don’t miss the other installments of Boating Vacations in the Upper Adriatic.



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