Wednesday, 13 February 2013

The Venetian Lagoon - Day 19

The room tariff at Hotel Santa Chiara includes a complimentary continental buffet breakfast at the hotel's cafe on the ground floor and was of generally good quality. Guests were able to choose from a range of cereals and pastries available at the counter, as well as help themselves to the selection of fruits. It was certainly not worth the €30 that was claimed by the hotel, but might be a marked up price in this traditionally expensive city due to the hotel's prime location near the major transport hubs.
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We had set aside an entire day to explore the hidden charms of the Venetian Lagoon and the numerous outlying islands. Despite rushing to the Piazza Roma vaporetto stop after having our breakfast, we arrived just in time to see a Murano bound motoscafo pull away from the pier. In view of the 30-minute frequency, we decided to walk around the area, and found a COOP supermarket nearby where we stocked up on affordable drinks. We had chosen to take the Diretto Murano express boat (DM; now renamed Service 3), and it did not occur to us that we actually could have taken Service 42 (now renumbered Service 4.2) which calls at local stops along the way, but still reach Murano earlier than the next trip of DM.

The motoscafi are significantly narrower than the wider vaporetti that ply the length of the Grand Canal and are predominantly deployed on longer routes to the outlying islands in the Venetian lagoon. The sheltered passenger compartments provide additional shelter from the elements as compared to the vaporetto. ACTV 225 (VE 8685) was photographed approaching Piazza Roma vaporetto stop with a healthy load of passengers.
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Due to the limited views from the recessed passenger cabins, we stood at the middle entrance deck of the motoscafo. However, the views were still restricted compared to the bow or stern of a vaporetto, and the entrance deck was crowded with many like-minded tourists.
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The glass and steel Ponte di Calatrava was built in 2008 at a cost of €12 million to provide an essential link between Santa Lucia Railway Station and the Piazza Roma Bus Terminal on the opposite bank of the Grand Canal. Originally intended to resemble the streamlined fin of a fish, the bridge was the subject of controversy as the radical design contrasts sharply with the classical designs of the other historic buildings that line the banks of the canal.
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A Serie 100 vaporetto VE 9314 picking up an eager load of day-trippers heading towards St Mark's Square on service 1 outside Santa Lucia Railway Station. The Ferrovia vaporetto stop is actually a series of piers stringed along the canal, with both directions of the same service calling at different piers to help reduce confusion.
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The imposing church of Santa Maria di Nazareth, or Scalzi, is situated next to the railway station along the Grand Canal and was built by the Carmelite monks in the 17th century.
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The church of San Geremia is located at the junction of the Grand Canal and the smaller Cannaregio Canal in the Cannaregio sestiere. The church is notable for housing the remains of St Lucy when the nearby church of Santa Lucia was demolished to make way for the current railway station. The opulent Palazzo Labia were built by the wealthy Labia family from Catalonia in the 17th century and housed a magnificent fresco in the ballroom.
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The Cannaregio Canal, or Canale di Cannaregio, once served as the main point of entry into Venice before the completion of the rail link with the mainland.
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The Cannaregio sestiere is one of the most populated sestieri in Venice with over a third of the population residing in this historic quarter.
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After the motoscafo emerged from the Cannaregio Canal into the Venetian Lagoon, we enjoyed panoramic views of the northern waterfront of Venice and the cemetery island of St Michele. With its unique onion shaped cupola, the towering campanile of the gothic Madonna dell'Orto dominated much of the scenery of northern Cannaregio as our motoscafo traversed the Canale della Fondamente Nuove towards Murano.
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We also spotted a Frecciargento ETR600 trainset as well as a diesel railcar crossing the Causeway into Venice. Alilaguna operates a fleet of brightly painted boats that link various parts of Venice with Marco Polo Airport on the mainland.
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Murano

Located approximately 1.5km north of Venice, the island of Murano is renowned for its refined glassmaking and beautiful glass art. Glassmaking is an ancient tradition and art in Venice since the 10th century. By 1291, bulk of the industry was moved to the Murano due to fire hazard of the glass-making kilns. The trade secrets of the glass makers were well-preserved and it was considered treason for skilled craftsmen to leave the Venetian Republic. Even though glass monopoly by Venice lasted only until the 17th century due to competition from France and later Bohemia, the fame of Murano glass lives on.

We alighted at the first stop in Murano at Colonna and walked along Rio dei Vetrai to look for a glass workshop to observe the production of the famed Murano glass. We read on travel guides that it is common to find glass blowing demonstrations along the streets during peak periods, but most of the shops were still closed at the early hour.

Murano had a significantly more relaxed atmosphere and laid-back feel as compared its more glitzy and famous neighbour.
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Private motorboats moor along the well maintained banks of the Rio del Vetrai on a quiet midweek morning. The strong morning sun accentuated the rich earthen hues of the houses and provided a colourful contrast to the pastel blue skies.
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Floating 'markets' still remain a relatively uncommon sight in Venice despite the extensive network of criss-crossing canals. A vegetable grocer displays his wares and awaits for potential customers on his boat along the banks of Rio del Vetrai.
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Reinforced workboats replace the role of trucks in the carriage of light construction materials such as gas cylinders in Venice. A small crane is fitted to the deck to assist in the unloading of goods.
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We were drawn to a blue glass sculpture in Campo Santa Stefano to commemorate Christmas in 2007, and took photos of the sculpture with the distinctive 19th century clock tower in the background. Titled 'Comet Glass Star', the striking art installation was handcrafted by local glass maker Simone Cenedese.
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We continued our walking tour to the Grand Canal of Murano, where we took in the sights from Ponte Longo that spans across the waterway which divides the island into two halves.
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ACTV 202 motoscafo was photographed calling at Da Mula vaporetto stop along Murano's Grand Canal, Canale Grande di Murano. This simply furnished minor vaporetto stop only services local route 41 & 42 (now renumbered as 4.1 & 4.2) which are clockwise and counter clockwise loops that connect Murano to Venice.
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ACTV 279 motoscafo on service DM. This service makes a single counter clockwise loop around Murano before 3pm and a clockwise loop after 3pm, before heading back to Venice.
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We decided to pop into the showroom of Mazzega Glass Factory along the waterfront to admire the exquisite glassworks on display. Murano glassware had become a victim of its own success in recent times with unscrupulous merchants often attempting to pass off cheaper glassware imported from China as the real deal.
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Despite the late arrival at Murano due to us missing the motoscafo, we decided to leave Murano according to the itinerary which we planned in advance. Hence, we proceeded to Murano Faro pier at the eastern side of the island. While strolling through Calle Bressagio towards the waterfront promenade, we came across some more glass sculptures that define the unique landscape of Murano.
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A huge bundle of glass fibre forms the centrepiece along the wide Calle Bressagio and serves to underscore the importance of this material to the heritage and livelihood of the island.
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We were pleasantly surprised to find a glass workshop near the pier, which had left the rear door open for visitors to observe the glass blowing process.
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We continued our tour of the lagoon on the Laguna Nord (LN) ferry. At the time of visit, LN was a single route that linked Venice to the northern lagoon islands of Murano, Mazzorbo and Burano, the towns of Treporti and Punta Sabbioni along the peninsula that separates the Adriatic Sea and Venetian Lagoon, and the island of Lido to the southeast of Venice. The route was divided into 2 sections at Punta Sabbioni. The first leg from Venice (Fondamenta Nuove) via the lagoon islands was operated with single deck motor ships known as foranei that resemble widebodied vaporetti, while the second leg to Venice (San Marco) via Lido was operated with high capacity double deck motor ships known as motonavi. These 2 sections were operated with coordinated timetables to facilitate transfer at Punta Sabbioni. With the reorganisation of the ACTV waterbus network in December 2011, the 2 sections of the former route LN are now officially split into 2 independent routes – Services 12 and 14 respectively.
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Murano Faro pier serves as one of the two main piers that link Murano to the rest of the Venetian Lagoon. A sheltered waiting area is fitted with a real time display showed the estimated arrival time for each service at the pier. This modern convenience allows passengers to wait in comfort away from the glaring sun.
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Faro means lighthouse in Italian, and the name of the pier is probably in reference to the large lighthouse which is situated beside the pier on the south-eastern corner of the island.
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Venice's chequered history meant that various relics and long forgotten installations lay strewn across islets and sandbars in the Venetian Lagoon, each with its own story to tell. Isola di San Giacomo took its name after an 11th century monastery that was dedicated to San Giacomo Maggiore. The monastery was demolished in 1810 and was used as a military post until it was partially restored by the Water Authority in recent years.
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Isola Madonna del Monte is a privately owned island where the former monastery had once served as a gunpowder repository.
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Ravaged by centuries of weathering, Isola Madonna del Monte had been split into two and added to the ever growing number of land features in the lagoon.
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Burano

The island of Mazzorbo is omitted from some travel guides and often overlooked by tourists in their lagoon excursion. However, we decided to drop by Mazzorbo for a brief tour before proceeding to its more famous neighbour Burano. We walked along the fringe of the island, which is a sparsely populated residential and recreation area.
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San Erasmo VE 8790 was photographed cruising down the canal towards Burano after dropping passengers off at Mazzorbo.
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Mazzorbo is conveniently linked to the adjacent island of Burano with a simple trestle wooden pedestrian bridge. While crossing the bridge, we were greeted with the sight of an Alitalia MD-82 climbing out of Venice Marco Polo Airport on the mainland with its Pratt & Whitney JT8D-217C carving twin trails of black smoke across the blue skies. The venerable MD-82 made her final flight with the national carrier on 27 October 2012 and ended almost three decades of the type's relationship with Alitalia.
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Neat rows of motorised skiffs are berthed in the narrow channel which separates Mazzorbo and Burano.
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Burano is famed for its pastel coloured houses, which is said to have originated from fishermen’s desire to see their houses from afar while out at the sea. In another version of the story, the colours signify the different families. Regardless of its origins, the myriad of colours is the main feature of Burano that allures visitors.
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Small canals snake through the colourful island as we wandered through the well maintained sidewalks and alleys.
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A wooden bridge erected over a confluence of canals provides an ideal vantage point for visitors to capture the quintessential Burano street scene - colourful pastel houses juxtaposed against the clear skies and with small quiet canals flowing through the streets.
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To preserve the colourful image, the choice of colours for each house is regulated, according to a specific system that originates from the golden era of its development.
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Burano had certainly lived up to our high expectation of what we had read from travel guides and seen from online photos, as virtually every corner was photogenic! Due to the colourful houses and being significantly less crowded than Venice, Burano was overall a very charming place which added variety to our Venetian holiday.
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An open air street market was in full swing and added a dash of colour to the already colourful campi which was framed by pastel hued houses. Burano is also known for its lace-making tradition, but unfortunately today much of the lace is made by machine as hand-made lace is too time-consuming and expensive.
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From Burano pier, we cut through Viale Marcello to reach Pontinello Canal, and then continued along Zuecca Canal to the southern end of Burano to photograph the leaning bell tower of the San Martino Church.
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A thought-invoking statue serves as the focal point for a small park located in front of Burano pier. The statue is titled 'La Tua Pace' which means "Your Peace" in English and depicts an anguished kneeling woman.
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In view of the hour-long journey to our next destination Lido, we decided to order takeaway (Chicken fillet sandwich, €5) from a kiosk near the ferry terminal to have lunch onboard. Even though we requested not to toast our sandwiches in the interest of time, the preparation time still resulted in us missing the ferry and we had to wait 30 minutes for the next trip.
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Burano Pier. The pier serves service LN in both directions towards Fondamente Nuove and Punta Sabbioni, as well as feeder service T to Torcello.
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Series 80 vaporetto ACTV 91 (VE 7688) on service T which links Torcello island with Burano island. Torcello was once a bustling settlement which fell into decline along with the rise of Venice. The now desolate island is popular with day-trippers who make a short detour to visit the sprawling Byzantine cathedral of Santa Fosca.
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The next leg of service LN to Punta Sabbioni is also operated by a foraneo and takes 15 minutes to cross the Venetian Lagoon to the next destination, Treporti on the mainland.
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Treporti vaporetto stop. Sitting at the northern end of a peninsula which divides the Venetian Lagoon from the Adriatic Sea, this town is a gateway to Jesolo beach which ranks as one the most important beaches in Italy.
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A further 15 minute ride along the coast brought us to the transfer hub of Punta Sabbioni near the southern tip of the peninsula. The light passenger load along the sector allowed us to obtain a photo of the foraneo's seating area which is configured 9 abreast with an additional block of 3 seats in the middle as compared to the narrower vaporetto.
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As our ferry approached Punta Sabbioni, we spotted a Scania Omnicity local bus at the bus terminal near the pier. We made use of the short transit time between the connecting ferries of route LN to photograph the bus with the distinctive ATVO sky blue livery. BW 747 MB was photographed waiting to depart on service 5 to Lido di Jesolo.
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We returned to the pier in time to photograph the motonavi, Torcello approaching the pier, which would operate the next leg of service LN to Lido.
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Foraneo Venezia 5 departing Punta Sabbioni back to Fondamente Nuove in Venice.
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Visitors can choose to explore the Venetian Lagoon in comfort on the convenient ACTV waterbus services, or the more exciting option of a speedboat to soak in the warm rays of the summer sun in style.
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A construction barge ferrying a truck and construction materials to an offshore construction site in the Venetian Lagoon.
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Lido & Pellestrina

San Nicolò al Lido is dedicated to the patron saint of sailors, St Nicholas and is located near the northern tip of Lido. This church had been regarded as one of strategic importance since the founding of Venice and a solemn thanksgiving ceremony is held here after the annual Marriage of the Sea ceremony.
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Apart from the cultural quarter of San Nicolò, much of northern Lido is occupied by an airfield (Aeroporto Nicelli / LIPV) which is equipped with a single grass runway for general aviation activities.
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The unmistakable weathered green dome of Santa Maria Elisabetta church greets passengers as vessels pull in to call at Lido Santa Maria Elisabetta (often abbreviated as Lido S.M.E.) that functions as the main hub of waterbus and bus services for the island.
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ACTV 338, a BredaMenariniBus Monocar 240LU, was photographed awaiting connecting passengers outside Lido S.M.E. Service A (Arancione) serves Alberoni Rocchetta which is located at the southern tip of the island.
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The classic Fiat 1500E sedan entered production in 1949 and featured a simplified front design as compared to earlier models in the series.
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After alighting from the ferry, we spent some time camping for photos of local buses along the main street, Granviale Santa Maria Elisabetta, before continuing our journey on Service 11 to Chioggia. We also paid another visit to Billa supermarket to stock up on drinks.
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ACTV 393 was spotted working service V (Verde) towards Lido S.M.E. The versatile low floor BredaMenariniBus Monocar 240LU forms the backbone of the ACTV bus operations in Lido.
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ACTV Service 11 is the principal transport route in the south lagoon, and unique in being a single route which is operated with a combination of bus, vehicle ferry and passenger ferry. The route operates throughout the day and frequency during day time is generally half-hourly, but with adjustments according to the vehicle ferry schedule. The first leg is a bus ride between Lido S.M.E. and Pellestrina Cimitero which involves a vehicle ferry crossing, followed by a passenger ferry for the second leg to Chioggia.

The demand on Service 11 was surprisingly high and the loads picked up very fast, with passengers waiting onboard for the bus to depart. We read that Service 11 is sometimes operated with a convoy of buses, especially during peak hours, but our trip was operated with only one bus which departed with substantial number of standees. Along the way down the length of Lido to the tip of the island at Alberoni, the bus picked up more passengers heading towards Pellestrina and Chioggia. There were only a few passengers who alighted, as the route of Service 11 within Lido is also served by local buses (such as service A) which operate more frequently.
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The highlight of the ride was the crossing of the central mouth of the lagoon, Porto di Malamocco, between Lido and Pellestrina islands.
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According to regulations which are prominently displayed in English and Italian, passengers are required to disembark from the vehicles during the crossing, but the bus driver simply switched off the engine and opened the doors. Some of us who were seated in aisle seats managed to get off the packed bus to obtain some photos.
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The ACTV bus occupied much of the available vehicular deck space on the Navi Traghetto which was similar but noticeably smaller than the one which we had rode the previous day on service 17.
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There were some passengers who got off the crowded bus during the short 8 minute long crossing and walked off the ferry when we reached the opposite shore at San Maria del Mare. To our surprise, there was an empty Service 11 bus waiting at the ferry terminal, which had departed ahead of us. Clearly, those were regular passengers who knew of this arrangement.
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Pellestrina is an even thinner island and is essentially a long sandbar with fishing villages facing the lagoon. At the eastern side of the island facing the Adriatic Sea, a long continuous seawall known as murazzi to protect the city was built in the 18th century, during the downfall of the Venetian Republic. The embankment is straight-edged on the lagoon side and slopes downwards towards the Adriatic Sea on the opposite side. As such, the murazzi complements and reinforces the natural littoral that protected Venice from the open waters of the Adriatic.
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Service 11 plies along the road that runs next to the murazzi, where bulk of the passengers alighted along the way. We were bewildered by some houses which intrude into the road and the carriageway width is significantly narrowed at those locations. The bus journey continued along the seemingly desolate road which ran until the end of the road outside the cemetery.
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We were able to obtain perfect sunlight nearside photos of the two Service 11 buses at the terminal which was the final stop for the bus sector of this unique service. At the final stop, two Caucasians on our bus looked very lost as the rest of the passengers alighted. After cross-checking with our photo collection, we realized that the bus which picked up passengers from the vehicle ferry terminal at the northern edge of Pellestrina was actually the same bus which operated the previous trip from Lido S.M.E. According to the timetable, the bus probably operated a shuttle service within Pellestrina during the scheduled break of the vehicle ferry, until the ferry service was resumed to operate a return trip to Lido.
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The final leg of Service 11 to Chioggia is by passenger ferry onboard a foraneo and the landing stage at Pellestrina Cimitero is seamlessly located next to the bus terminal. The timetables of the bus and ferry are also integrated, with the ferry departing just five minutes after the scheduled arrival of the bus.
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The ferry travelled continued along the length of the seawall towards the wildlife reserve of Caroman located at the southern tip of the island.
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Caroman vaporetto stop. While bicycles and motorcycles are allowed onboard the foraneo on this sector of service 11 at the Captain's discretion, they are not allowed to be offloaded at this stop.
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Villagio Marino Caroman conducts guided tours of the rich biodiversity that can be found in the reserve, as well as serve as a camp for disabled individuals in summer.
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The south lagoon is dotted with fishermen’s hut on stilts, which are similar to kelongs in Southeast Asia.
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Ottagono Ca'Roman was first built as a military fortification against an imminent Turkish invasion and was subsequently adapted as a bunker and artillery installation during WWII.
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The ferry then crossed Porto di Chioggia, the most southerly opening of the lagoon, and entered the little port at the northern end of the historic part of Chioggia.

Chioggia

Chioggia is the second-largest settlement in the Venetian Lagoon, and busiest fishing port in the region. Dubbed the “Little Venice”, the pace of life in Chioggia is slower, and offers an insight of how Venice might be without inundation by trade and tourism.

Fortifications line the northern tip of Chioggia as a stark reminder to the many wars that had been fought over this strategic strip of land over the past centuries.
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The sheltered waters offer a safe refuge for pleasure crafts berthed at the numerous marinas in northern Chioggia.
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The ACTV Chioggia vaporetto stop serves as the northern gateway to this settlement. The full route of service 11 between Chioggia and Lido S.M.E takes 75mins to complete.
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The pier led us directly to the historic centre of Chioggia which is in fact an island situated at the southern end of the Venetian Lagoon. The main street, Corso del Popolo, lined by shops, cafés and restaurants, runs the length of the island from north to south.
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As we took a lazy afternoon stroll down the street, one of us managed to buy a suitable luggage bag to contain his Kinnie “export” from Malta. In addition, we popped by several shops to admire the huge variety of curios, carnival regalia and nautical themed souvenirs that were on display (left & top right).

The clock tower of the church of St Andrew is regarded as one of the oldest surviving clock towers in the world today (bottom right).
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The church of St Andrew the Apostle is a major landmark along Corso del Popolo and houses several notable artworks from the 16th century.
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Chioggia may not have the gilded palazzos of Venice or the brightly painted houses of Burano, but the well weathered buildings in Chioggia exude an understated charm in its own right.
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The streets of Chioggia are arranged in a grid layout from the days of the Roman settlement. We wondered into the side streets from the Corso del Popolo towards the Canale della Vena.
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A strong scent of fish permeated the air near the waterways and was somewhat overwhelming as we approached the coast where the bulk of the fishery operations are carried out. However, the alluring combination of medieval churches, whitewashed buildings and the relaxed atmosphere prompted us to further explore the length of the picturesque Canale della Vena.
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We soon noted the presence of buses along on the roads that crosses the town. Armed with that discovery, we continued in the general direction of where the buses came from, and found the main bus terminal at Isola dell Unione, an island between the historic centre of Chioggia and the beach resort of Sottomarina.

Pleasure craft berthed along the bridge which links Chioggia with Isola dell Unione & Sottomarina.
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We discovered an interesting mix of bus types deployed on the feeder services which we had not seen elsewhere during the trip thus far. In particular, we were enthused by the old MenariniBus 201-NU which resembled an Iveco Turbocity.
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ACTV 725 is an air-conditioned BredaMenariniBus M240NU and was photographed near the end of its trip as service 3 from Civè. The suffix "N" indicates that it is a 10m version as compared to the suffix "L" in the model code of the 12m long M240LU buses that are deployed on ACTV's Lido routes.
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ACTV 700 is an unusual 2 door Cacciamali Urby U65.3750 CNG front engined midibus. It operated the Navetta Lusenzo shuttle service at the time of our visit which plies between Isola dell Unione and San Giovanni Park via Chioggia's main street, Corso del Popolo.
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ACTV 702 resembled a standard M240NU in ACTV's fleet but with an unusually short rear overhang. Introduced in 2010, the BredaMenariniBus M231CU Vivacity CNG is a shortened 8m derivative of the successful Monocar M231 citybus.
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After camping briefly at the bus terminal for representative photos of the local buses, we hopped onboard a Service 1 bus after confirming with the driver that it goes to the train station. We tried to validate our Hello Venezia! card onboard the bus but it did not work in this zone, and the bus driver just told us to purchase a ticket after getting off.
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The short ride soon brought us to Chioggia FS and we nearly missed the stop as it was obscured by trees when the bus was approaching the station from the north. Chioggia FS sits at the end of a non-electrified single tracked branch line from Rovigo FS and we had opted for this detour to travel back to Venice for an opportunity to ride a diesel railcar.

The railway station was deserted with the ticket office being permanently shuttered, with the al fresco station café and an operational electronic platform display being the only indication that it was still a fully functioning facility.
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A DE.424 diesel locomotive was stabled at the sidings at Chioggia FS and had been decorated with a fair amount of graffiti on the steel bodywork. The DE.424 diesel locomotives were built by TIBB in 1957 for Società Veneta for light to medium duties on its rail network.
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A station announcement was made over the public announcement system in Italian near the estimated time of departure. We noticed that a young Italian couple who were seated at the platform made their way to the station café at the opposite side of the station after hearing it. As we were unable to understand the announcement, we decided to ask the couple and were told that the branch line service had been cancelled and a rail replacement bus would be operating the trip to Rovigo FS instead.

The rail replacement service turned out to be a privately operated Iveco Poker midibus which we were not too enthused to ride. As such, we decided on the faster option of taking the ACTV suburban bus service 80 directly back to Venice. It was definitely a heart-warming moment when the couple tried their best to explain the situation and asked us to board the rail replacement service lest we be stranded at Chioggia. After much smiles and gesturing, the couple seemed to finally understand our intention and bade us farewell as their coach left the station compound for Rovigo FS.
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We stood by the roadside outside the railway station and started flagging the ACTV buses that were heading back to Venice from Sottomarina as we could not locate a physical bus stop pole. Unfortunately, an ACTV service 80 Irisbus Arway coach flew past us without stopping.

ACTV 727 is a BredaMenariniBus M240NU Avancity which was introduced into service in 2009 and thus sports the newer white based ACTV livery. It was photographed opposite Chioggia FS heading towards Campo Marconi on service 6.
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The next bus was an ACTV De Simon IS.2 articulated coach and to our relief and delight, the bus driver stopped and let us onboard.
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The De Simon IS.2 coach is factory delivered with air-conditioning units but was not functioning. We opened the hopper windows for fresh air and to alleviate the 29 degree Celsius summer heat. The bus sped along the two lane carriageway through the rural countryside for much of the journey until we reached Venice Mestre. The interior of the articulated bus comprises of full back coach seats and overhead luggage racks for suburban operations.
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The larger number of buses required to cater to the greater demand and work peak hour services during the evening rush hour allowed us to add photos of rarer types in ACTV's fleet to our collection. MenariniBus M220LU ACTV 109S was illuminated in the golden rays of the evening sun and was spotted working service 66 from Piazza Roma Terminal. In addition, we spotted an Inbus U210FT Siccar 177LU working on service 7L. It was perhaps a coincidence that we had spotted these older types on services which operated a limited number of trips throughout the day.
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Shortly after alighting, we managed to photograph ACTV 733 departing on her return trip to Sottomarina on service 80.
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Venice at Dusk

As tour coaches are not allowed in Venice beyond the Piazza Roma Bus Terminal, luggage is transferred from the coaches to boats using a chute system before it is delivered to the respective hotels. One certainly wonders about the odds of a luggage missing its intended target and falling into the canal!
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Rio Nuovo. A designated gondola pick-up and drop-off location is located along this canal in close proximity to Piazza Roma Bus Terminal and Santa Lucia Railway Station.
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We decided to order takeaway dinner instead of a sit down dinner to enjoy the evening scene on our final night in Venice at our private rooftop terrace. We went to Pasticceria La Baute along Fondamenta del Gaffaro, which caught our attention the day before with its relatively cheap menu of around €5-6 for main courses.
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A faded print in the pasticceria depicted a famous Coca-Cola advertising campaign in the late 1960s. The large scale publicity stunt saw the renowned soft drink manufacturer spreading a large amount of bird seed across St Mark's Square in the shape of their corporate logo. The bird seed soon attracted a large number of pigeons and formed the amazing spectacle.
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When one of us tried different options of customizing his order and the waiter informed that there was no stock, he questioned if the food was pre-packed, which the waiter surprisingly acknowledged. Indeed, our takeaway food came in the original supermarket packaging which was heated in a microwave! On the other hand, dine-in patrons had their food nicely served on plates, which made us wonder how many cafés actually do that without the knowledge of diners. We proceeded to the COOP supermarket near Piazza Roma vaporetto stop to purchase affordable drinks to go with the meal.

Takeaway dinner at our hotel rooftop terrace.
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Piazza Roma Bus Terminal at dusk
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After dinner, we took dusk photos of the Grand Canal against the darkening sky with the light streaks caused by the different water borne transport. We got carried away until it was too late to make full use of the Hello Venezia! Card for joy rides on buses to the mainland.
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Rio Nuovo by night.
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2 comments:

Apartments for sale in Jesolo said...

Such a wonderful review with a lot of interesting details, the pics are really stunning!

Robert Stephson said...

Excellent photos. I'd like to ask you a question about the 2nd photo of the orange bus, which was the kind I rode in Rome during the 13 years I lived there. Could you please send me an email at robert@thewrite-editor.net
I'd like to ask you a question.
Thanks for the blog!