Friday 5 April 2013

Chioggia - A perfect base for exploring Venice

The town of Chioggia or Little Venice, as it is often referred to, is a small fishing port 50 kilometers from Venice. As a more popular neighbor, Venice takes larger share of tourists and obviously at some times also gets way too crowded. Even though Chioggia can hardly compete with Venice, it makes a great base to explore the nearby famous world class attractions and can be a convenient getaway from the crowds.

During our last visit to the area M. and I stayed at a nice and affordable Bed&Breakfast between the two and spent a day exploring each. Venice frankly deserves more attention, but since we have visited it quite a few times before, we were also happy to discover something interesting nearby. Obviously we chose Chioggia.

If you are planning a stay around these parts, are looking for an affordable place to spend a night and are travelling by a car you should check out Alloggi Balabuska‏ (Via Romea, 8 Km 97 SS 309 I 35020 Codevigo). It is located by the main road (look for a blue colored house across from a gas station), so you shouldn't expect much of a view from your bedroom window.

We stayed in a double room for EUR 35.00 per night without a breakfast. We usually do not care much about breakfasts when travelling around Italy since a typical Italian breakfast usually only includes a simple (not too tasty) croissant with a cup of coffee. We prefer to find some local cheese or a piece of pizza by ourselves.

With a couple of canals and colorful Venetian style buildings next to them, Chioggia really looks like a miniature version of Venice. It might look a bit run down and somewhat neglected, but definitely has some charm of its own.

There is not all that much to see in the old town - apart from many cute little piazzas, bridges and random colorful old buildings (click on Chioggia label to see some more color). There is however an interesting clock tower with a clock museum on Corso del Popolo. Supposedly it is the second oldest tower clock in the world. Besides the clock mechanism there is also a great view you can admire from the top for a small fee. You should keep in mind it can only be visited on Sundays and holidays.

There is also the Duomo (cathedral), situated at the opposite end of Corso del Popolo from the port. It became a cathedral in 1110 but was rebuilt in 1623. Today it houses some great 16th century paintings and various 17th century sculptures by Bartolomeo Cavalieri.
If you are an early bird you can observe fisherman bringing in catch in the early morning hours. There is also a large fish market set up every weekday morning worth checking out.

When you check out all of the above, there is always Corso del Popolo, where you can take a relaxed stroll through the historic center, do some shopping or simply enjoy a drink at an outdoor table and watch people walk by.

As it is a fishing port you can find many great options for an excellent seafood meal there. You can get it for a much more affordable price compared to Venice - in fact much of local daily catch ends up on Venetian menus. It is hard to eat bad seafood in Chioggia but as everywhere else, also here some places are better than others. From what I have seen Osteria da Nicola on Fondamenta S. Domenico 874 by the San Domenico Canal offers top quality and is also not too expensive. Main dishes start at around EUR 12.


Wednesday 3 April 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Colorful Chioggia #1


Monday 1 April 2013

Mountain hut details from Dolomites

If you are a regular visitor of this blog you have probably noticed I have been raving about these charming mountain huts in Italian Dolomites over the last few posts. Of the things that definitely add up to the charm of these rifugios, various details and decorations are amongst the more obvious.

Obviously these decorations are authentic and usually prepared in just the right style to fit the overall image. There is no place for cheap plastic chairs and tables in an environment like that. Instead products made of local wood can be seen everywhere. It seems traditional wood crafting is still very much alive in the Dolomites area.

I am very glad they are keeping very high standards even when building new such huts in this beautiful environment. I hope they keep it up for ever.

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