Chioggia's always been known for its harbour, for the saltern coves and the production of vegetables, for being immortalized by Goldoni in his masterpiece "Le baruffe chiozzotte."
Called - not by accident and for a long time - "Little Venice", Chioggia lived for centuries in the shadow of the Serenissima and perhaps has suffered an irreparable historic damage: to be neglected and reductively considered only an appendage of its great neighbour. Sure, there is only one of Venice, but also Chioggia has its own identity, its history, its characters, its art, its "genius loci". It's true that Chioggia has neither the magnificent palaces, nor the monuments of the great city of Marco, but it is equally true that its mansions, its monuments, preserve traces of its fascinating past.
Chioggia occupies the southern side of the Venetian lagoon, being the northern occupied by Venice. To the north is the vast and bustling port, which forms the backdrop to the castle of St Felice, Caroman, Pellestrina and the octagonal embankment that rises from the water like a bush. This landscape, considered the most beautiful of Venetian lagoon, may be contemplated from the wonderful Piazza di Vigo, or the top of the superb Vigo Bridge. The eye, amidst the deep blue of the sky and the green water, following the smiling coastline, reaches the white Rocchetta lighthouse at the port of Malamocco, and continues to the bell tower of Poveglia in Venice and the campanile of St Marco.
Because of its light, for such a sunny disposition, Chioggia was discovered by artists. Other beauties are found in the authenticity, genuineness of the inhabitants and in the sound, colour, vibrancy and immediacy of the local dialect that recalls ancient sounds and voices from the past. Visiting Chioggia you can choose (if you wish), among several options: you can stop and admire its art and immerse yourself in the magical atmosphere of the lagoon, or you can sit in one of the many cafés and watch the lively promenade of Chioggia and its tourists; smell the saline and freshly caught fish, enjoy the simple life and the accents of a lost time; find the environments described by Goldoni and Comisso; observe the beautiful kaleidoscope of boats rising and descending channels.
You can paint beautiful views of sea and sky and rummy characters; you can be inspired and write verses. Then if you happen to be here in late June, you may attend the Palio della Marciliana, which revives the medieval Chioggia during the war between Venice and Genoa (1378-1381).
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