There is no doubt about it. Venice is one of Europe’s most popular destinations. And it’s without a question the most popular and most visited destination in Italy. With over 28 million visitors in 2017 the Venetian government decided Venice is too crowded. As of this year tourists have to pay a small entrance fee to visit the city on the water. And even though Venice is absolutely stunning, there are some good alternatives in the Venice region. We visited Chioggia, a small town which is also known as ‘Litte Venice’ and we fell in love with it. A great destination which you don’t have to share with millions of other tourists. These are the coolest things to do in Chioggia.
All you need to know about Chioggia
Chioggio (pronounced as ‘ Kijodja )’ is just as Venice located in the Laguna Veneta and is connected to the main land by a couple of bridges. Chioggia is a small fishermen’s town and earned the nickname Little Venice for good reason. Just like as in Venice you can admire some amazing bridges. And although they are not the same as the famous Ponte Rialto in Venice, they are stunning still.
Don’t forget to watch our short drone video we made at the end of this article.
Visit Chioggia by car
When you travel to Chioggia from Venice by car there are several (cheap) options to park your car. I recommend parking just before you enter the peninsula. Parking is way cheaper over here. Especially in comparison to Venice, parking in over here is quite cheap.
Travel from Venice to Chioggia by bus or boat
If you don’t like the hassle of parking and traffic in Italy you could choose to travel to Chioggia by bus. The distance is 55 kilometers and the trip will take you about an hour and a half. Another great option is to take the boat from Venice to Chioggia. During high season boats leave from the famous San Marco Square in Venice every day. This trip takes a bit more time than traveling by bus but the trip is even more amazing while you travel through Laguna Veneta.
What to do in Chioggia: These are the most stunning highlights
Because of the size of Chioggia all highlights are easy to visit by foot in just a few hours. While we were visiting this great destination we received so many comments on our Instagram Stories like “Wow, is this Venice?” and “I thought you guys were in Venice”.
The 9 stunning bridges in Chioggia
As I mentioned before, it thanks the name ‘Little Italy’ because of its location in the Laguna Veneta but also because of the amazing bridges which connect different part of the town. The most famous and most stunning bridge is called ‘Ponte Vigo’. Just like in Venice a lot of the houses, restaurants and shops are build in and around the waters of the laguna. Admiring all bridges is absolutely one of the best things to do in Chioggia.
The world’s oldest clock
Chioggia has, just like it’s big sister, some impressive architecture. One particular impressive one is the church of the Holy Saint Andreas. It has been built in the 18th century and it features the world’s oldest clock.
Beautiful churches and cathedrales
All Italian cities have stunning churches and cathedrals and Chioggia is no exception. Churches and cathedrals you should definitely visit are the church Chiesa di San Domenico which has been build on her own small island and Chioggia’s cathedral, Chiesa di San Domenico which is mainly known for the oldest crucifix in the world.
Corso del Popolo: The place to eat and drink
After exploring Chioggia’s beautiful bridges, churches and cathedrals it’s time for a drink and some great Italian food. Corso del Popolo is the town’s central square which is a car-free zone. This is where you will find the best restaurants and bar. Chioggia’s specialities are crab, calamari and eel. So I hope you’re into fish because then you’ll be in for a treat. Order a cool glass of Aperol Spritz with it and your Italian lunch is complete!
Another highly recommended place is Ristorante La Ciosà, located on one of the canals. Watch out for not tumbling into the water!
Venice vs Chioggia price battle
Another reason to visit Chioggia instead of Venice or to combine the two is because of the prices for food and drinks. While we paid at least 5 euro’s for one glass of Aperol Spritz in Venice, we only paid €17 for 2 Aperol Spritz, 2 panini’s and some snacks. Perfect for budget travelers.
Enjoy an amazing canal tour
With paying almost a 100 euro for a trip in a gondola on Venice’s waters, Chioggia is a great alternative for Venice because of the fact you will be able to sail on the Laguna from Chioggia for 10 euro per person. A cheap way to explore this beautiful region. Cantal tours are offered on several places in town.
Combine Chioggia with a trip to the beach
Are you visiting Chioggio during summer and do you feel like relaxing on the beach? The beach is just a short trip away. The island of Sottomarina is connected to Chioggia by a bridge and features a great beach. A perfect place to relax after a long day of sightseeing.
Explore the colorful streets
Chioggia isn’t big which means you can stroll around for a few hours. Don’t look on your phone or map but let the town take you. Wander into random streets and enjoy the sights. Colorful houses, small streets, amazing bridges. That’s why you travel to Italy, right?
Want to spend the night? Search for hotels in Chioggia.
This is why Chioggia is called the perfect alternative for Venice
Like Venice, Chioggia has a lot of colorful buildings, stunning bridges, churches and cathedrals and great food. Chioggia however, is smaller, has less canals in comparison and it’s way quieter. Definitely no 28 million tourists here. The prices in over here are also a lot lower, making it possibly even more attractive than it already is.
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Had you ever heard of Chioggia or ‘Little Venice’ before?