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Chioggia Travel Guide: 43 reviews and 209 photos


I'd wanted to visit Chioggia, since reading an article in one of the Sunday travel supplements about this mainland fishing town, near to Venice. As it is such an important fishing port, there are plenty of fish restaurants! Also, the journey to get to Chioggia via Lido sounded quite interesting.

, Apparently, the 'best time' to get to Chioggia is before 06.00 to witness the activity of the fish market -Well, I had no intention of getting up at 'stupid o'clock' , so it was mid morning when I left Venice, from my hostal near to the Rialto Fish Market (Which I DID get up early one morning to visit), and caught the waterbus to San Zaccaria, then another to Lido, before boarding a bus to the end of Lido, which drove onto a ferry, which took us to Pellestrina, where I left the bus, and caught the waterbus to Chioggia - This all went like clockwork, and was a chance to see some new sights on the journey.

I spent the rest of the day exploring Chioggia, but leaving enough to see for a return visit, and caught the 22. 25 waterbus back to Pellestrina, arriving back at my hostel just before midnight.


Chioggia (Ke - o - ja) Listen here for pronounciation is the southernmost town on the lagoon (25km from Venice by water, 50km by road) and is probably the most important Adriatic fishing port. It also has had a role in the defense of Venice. During the War of Chioggia in 1378, the Genoese (and their allies from Padua), stormed the town, believing this would be the key to capturing Venice. From August, Venice was under siege, and her fate appeared to be doomed, especially as her enemies had virtually cut off food supply routes. On the morning of January 1st 1379 , the hero of the hour, Carlo Zeno and his jubilant fleet returned from a 12 month period of destroying the Genoese navy. He led a counter-siege, which lasted a further 6 months, before Venice was the victor.

In Roman times, Chioggia was known as Clodia (the city of Clodius). According to legend Clodius, arrived in Italy with Aeneas -the Trojan Hero, and set up a city on the site which was to become Chioggia. Chioggia, is thought to derive from the Latin words 'Fossa Clodia', 'Fossa' = a channel.

It developed in importance, along with the other lagoon settlements, that were providing sanctuary for those fleeing persecution and pestilence from the mainland.

In the 6th Century AD it was part of the Byzantine Empire.

Following destruction by King Pippin of Italy in the 9th century, Chioggia re newed itself, by constructing salt pans in the shallow coastal waters. The salt trade was responsible for much of Venices wealth.

The salt pans eventually dissolved away, and fishing became the main source of income, but by the 11th and 12th Centuries, Chioggia was becoming established as a prominent Port city. This resulted in construction of some impressive palaces and churches, to reflect the wealth. One being the 'Palazzo Pubblico' (Late 13th Century)

Under Venetian rule, Chioggia prospered further, and funding enabled further defensive structures. Following the War of Chioggia, Venice rebuilt and strengthened these walls and fortifications.

Many of the buildings seen today date from the 15th and 16th Century, which was a frenzied period of construction.

The 'Festival of Salt-water fishes" takes place in Chioggia, during the first ten days of July.

Chioggia is sometimes referred to as 'Little Venice' - like all the other contenders for this title, along with 'Venice of the North/South/East/West etc, It has canals!!

Yes, there are some pieces of architecture etc that is similar to that of La Serenissima, but it has a character of its own. It reminded me in parts of Padua, particularly around the Duoma. Although it is very much a working town (Fishing / marine, brick making, steel, fabrics and catering being the main areas of employment), Chioggia had quite a relaxed feel too.

Apparently the locals have a reputation for being grumpy! Some have put this down to their being aware that through the ages, the Venetians have looked down upon their southern neighbours. Goldoni, famously based his comedy Le Baruffe Chiozzotte on the town and its citizens, and the column with the Lion that you see on arriving, is sneeringly called 'The Cat of St Mark'

Traditionally, the women of Chioggia, until the 19th Century wore an apron that could be converted into a veil. Like Burano, the islanders here and on Pellestrina were renowned for lace making, but here bobbins are used

I didn't get as far as Sottomarina, which is the modern beach resort/lido, that is a popular place to stay for Italian holiday makers, or day trippers. This area has boosted Chioggias tourism ratings. Apparently there are over 60 hotels and 17 camping sites in this area, plus a few hotels in Chioggia. If I'd crossed the main bridge, and walked for a while, I'd have come to the sand dunes. As well as a beach, this area is considered a nature reserve.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Interesting working town with a quiet character
  • Cons:I missed out on a good fish restaurant
  • In a nutshell:A pleasant day out - I hope to return here
  • Last visit to Chioggia: Sep 2010
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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