Chioggia: Like a little Venice and yet very different
Every year, 30 million people flood the once contemplative city of Venice. Many of them are day trippers who dock with the cruise ship and just want to take a quick picture of St. Mark's Basilica or drink a chic espresso on the piazza.
The true Venice can therefore hardly be discovered today. If you still do not want to give up your search, you can try it in the south of Venice's lagoon. There lies Chioggia. Granted, a St. Mark's Square and cathedral, the fishing town has not to offer. But you will not be crushed in the sleepy streets of tourist crowds or annoyed by annoyed Venetians.
"Italy's largest café terrace"
Chioggia is like a little Venice: bridges, canals, narrow streets and hidden "piazzette" provide the right "Venice flair" and yet it has the little sister of the "Serenissima" always refused to be so titled. The almost 50,000 inhabitants are very proud of their small town and look with little envy to Venice. Speaking of view: from the Vigo Bridge at the end of the main road you can see wonderfully over the lagoon to the islands Pellestrina and the Lido di Venezia and to Venice itself.
Also for the espresso or cappuccino it does not need the St. Mark's Square. The writer Curzio Malaparte once called the "Corso", the main axis of the city, "Italy's largest café terrace". At lunchtime there is often little going on. In the evening, the sleepy city wakes up and the "Chioggiotti" gather on the Corso for a chat or an "aperitivo".
On Thursdays there is the weekly market, which the locals call "el zioba". Early risers should make a detour to the fish market. Between about 30 stalls, the so-called "mògnoli", you can buy fish and seafood for a home-cooked meal. Because ready-made dishes to try there are unfortunately not there. If you do not want to put yourself at the stove, it's best to go to one of the city's little trattorias. There are often only a small selection of dishes, but it is fresh and (of course) "fishy". You usually ask for a menu in vain - the waiter tells you what the chef prepares today.
In search of real Venice, it does not hurt to search a little further south, where more fishing boats than gondolas sway in the water. But also less tourists roam the streets of Chioggia.