July 27: Lido, Pellestrina, Chioggia ("Little Venice")

The morning started with a gentle rain moving rapidly across the city of Venice and out to sea. Heavy black clouds hung around threatening a different day from those of the high heats of the last week. But alas, the winds blew the threat out to sea and the sun won out again. As breakfast was being served in the upper deck dining room, the barge slowly pulled away from the pier and sailed along the coastline bordering the harbor of Venice. While sipping espresso as the skyline of Venice passed by.

Slowly the barge moved its way out into the bay and away from the Isolate of Cetosa and on to Malamocco. A stop to unload the bikes and passengers just outside the limits of Lido and the group was off. Lido is the home of the famous Venice Film Festival celebrated every late August and early September. Malamocco is derived from the ancient town of Metamauco which disappeared around 1100 following a cataclysm. Today it is possible to admire the 12th century church with its bell tower in Romanesque style along with the Palazzo Pretonio, a Gothic house from the 15th century.

Onward down the bike path and across to the end of the island of Lido to catch a ferry to the next island --Pellestrina. The Grand Hotel Excelsior built in 1907 of Moorish style sits on the left. The Palazzo del Cinema comes up on the left shortly there after. It is the home of the famous Venice Film Festival!l

Winding along a bike path that parallels the beach the ride passes one beautiful Italian summer home after another. Skirting through small villages and snaking along the trail the group stops for lunch in a small park just short of the ferry landing to Pellestrina near the beach of Alberoni.. The sun now has moved on high and the temperature is rising, but the cool air of the shade is a welcome relief to enjoy the hour of rest before continuing the "cruise down the path". It is a car ferry that provides the transportation so the bikes need to compete with buses, cars, trucks and pedestrians All merge onto the boat and settle into the 20 minute ride across the waterway to the next island.

Continuing on down the side of the island through the small towns of Portosecco and onto to Pellestrina the group enjoys the sights of the fishing boats docked in the harbor, the colorful houses bordering the harbor avenue and the quaint walkways and streets that invite the imagination to wonder what life was like so many years ago when fishing was the main revenue. The entire area is one fishing area after another with small sheds built out over the water. It is said that these sheds house the fishing nets when not in use to protect them from the rats. While no rats were seen, it is imagined that it could be a huge problem if the fish parts were left in the nets for scavengers to feast on.

Tonight's port is a small dock outside the town of Chioggia. Tomorrow a tour is on the schedule, but for tonight it is a good night's sleep after a great day of riding.

Total: 32.32 km

Barge Ride Out of Venice

Arriving in Lido

Lido Neighborhood

Kimberly "Disembarking" the Bikes!

"Lined Up" and Ready to Go!

Rosita (middle): Ladies, This is the center of Lido!" Betsey & Chaitri: "Okay, Let me just figure out my phone camera!"

The Group in Awe!

Look Up There!

Betsey & Glenna: "It's Too Hot to Not Stop for a Drink!"

Group Picnic Lunch

Welcome Back to the Barge at the End of the Day

Let's Go to the Beach!!