A fantastic easy bike ride near Venice


I’d love to hop on a bike, circle St. Mark’s Square, ride over the Rialto Bridge past the markets, cycle through the city’s narrow calle and bump down its many short staircases. But if you’ve been to Venice, you already know that unless you’re getting a ride from Mary Poppins or E.T., the center of Venice isn’t going to work on a bike.

Bici from passioneventi dot it


However there is a fantastic easy bike ride I recommend. Look at the map of Venice (below) and find the main fish-shaped set of islands you recognize, then look a little south. You’ll see two very long and skinny islands: the Lido and the island of Pellestrina. Both islands have paved routes and are completely flat, making them ideal for an easy cycle with amazing views of both the sea and of Venice. Bring lots of water and a swim suit and towel if it’s warm, because you’ll cycle by many sandy beaches. You can do this ride from bottom to top, starting in Chioggia, or the reverse.

Chioggia Pellestrina Lido map


Rent bikes in Chioggia at Top Bike Di Fontolan Sebastiano, via Cristoforo Colombo 162, Chioggia, VE 30015, tel.: 39 0415544447. A mile or so down the road you’ll hit the ferry terminal for boats to Pellestrina, which is about a 30 minute ride. Tip: get there 30 minutes or so before the ferry leaves, because the ferry driver decides how many bikes to allow on board. You want to be near the front of the line or you may be told to get the next ferry.

Bici in vacanza pellestrina


Cycle heading north up the length of Pellestrina, which is just 5 miles (about 8 km) long. Stay to the right, and when you reach the end of the island take the 10-minute ferry across to Lido island, which is longer than Pellestrina but not by much. Tip: When you get off the ferry at Lido, stay to the left, and cycle along Via Alberoni. When you pass the Istituto Carlo Steeb, take the tiny road on your right that crosses the island. You’ll see a set of steps that lead up to the Lido walls where you can cycle (photo below). Continue to the end of the Lido island along the island’s east side and for the return consider cycling back down the west side of the island, through the various fishing villages.

Murazzi from passioneventi dot it


Timing: If you do both Lido and Pellestrina, it’s 15 miles (24 km) one-way. So in addition to 40 minutes of ferry rides, expect about 90 minutes of very easy cycling to get from one end to the other. Then do the whole thing in reverse. So factor in a total of about 80 minutes on the ferry and 3 hours of cycling, plus leeway, and time for lunch or a swim.

Alternatively, if you can’t get to Chioggia, you can get to Lido easily from Venice and rent bikes there.


Photo of cyclist on Pellestrina by Bicinvacanza, used with permission. Other photos from passioneventi.it

Italy Beyond the Obvious will help make your trip truly memorable. Take advantage of our Italy trip planning services for a customized itinerary, or get coaching assistance with our Italy travel consulting services. And if you like what you read, why not subscribe to the Italy Beyond the Obvious blog and get free updates?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Facebook Twitter Email Google
Posted by on Jan 27, 2011 in Cycling, Venice & the Veneto | 14 Comments


  1. Susan Van Allen
    February 1, 2011

    Grazie for the great advice! Another wonderful nearby spot for biking is the island of Sant’Erasmo (aka The Secret Garden of Venice). You can take Vap 13 to get there and circle the 3.5 mile island, and enjoy a quiet beach.

    • Vale
      July 29, 2012

      Well in Summer most Romans head out of Rome and go to the clubs along the beachfront in Ostia, hwvoeer, March is still a little early.Your best bet would be areas like Trastevere, the Piazza of Campo de8 Fiori and perhaps Testaccio. Testaccio has plenty of options but I find the area a little seedy.All in all my favourite areas of Rome center are Trastevere and Campo de8 Fiori (and Pantheon not far behind).Enjoy.

    • Fransisco
      July 30, 2012

      Hello, in Rome there are many nightclubs. the area I pfreer is around Trastevere, testacio, ostiense: full of clubs, pizzerias and a very interesting nightlife I was in Rome 3 month ago. I ask for someting like you, I find a modern guesthouse in Trastevere area that it was very very lovely.Ask to the owner was a good idea

  2. Madeline
    February 1, 2011

    fantastic to know Susan, I haven’t done that one – it’s now on the list…. 🙂

    • Aneesh
      July 30, 2012

      When I was eight, my mother took me and my two sbiilngs (6 and 10 yrs) to europe for almost a month in the summer. We spend no more than a week in each of the following places: London; Stratford apon Avon, England (home of Shakespeare); Paris; Normandy Beach, France; Venice; Geneva, Switzerland; Zurich, Switzerland. I enjoyed Venice the most, and enjoyed Stratford apon Avon the least. Venice is beautiful, if not a little smelly from centuries of pollution in the water. I think we stayed in a large hotel on the island of Luigi, which was like a ten minute boat ride from the actual city. The most beautiful architecture of all the cities we saw. I would highly recommend. Paris is pretty standard. That would probably be most fun for your fifteen year old. Very safe, friendly. A lot of the people speak english also. He/she would probably have fun wandering around a little on his/her own, as im sure any teen on family vacation would find appealing. London is nothing too exotic, a very western city. Nothing you wouldnt be able to find in America. It is none the less a fun place though. Switzerland is beautiful, great hiking, very peaceful. Normandy beach is very historic, and is also a quiant little French rural area. Not much to do though. Maybe nice for a short weekend visit. Stratford apon Avon was a little boring for an eight year old. It is a pretty standard small city, with enough Shakespeare exhibits and performances to satisfy any English major. But like I said, pretty boring for kids.I havent been to Spain or Turkey, or mainland Italy, but I do have friends who are currently spending time there or have lived there. All I can say is that all three of these friends speak very highly of the experiences.

  3. vakantiehuizen javea
    March 4, 2011

    Venice is a fabulous city in Italy…The way this city is constructed is very nice and also the architecture of the buildings is great…Enjoying cycling here is a great thing to have..

  4. Dennis
    July 1, 2011

    It was great. I can not believe that you can ride a bicycle to go sightseeing in Italy. I never went to Italy, if I have a chance to go to Italy, firstly I will visit Venice city. I think I will plan to vacation here this summer.
    Thanks so much for posting this article.

    • Dylan
      July 29, 2012

      I used to visit Paris a lot when I lived in England because it took just a few hours to get there. I have never been to Italy and wish I had when I was a lot cleosr. I married an italian whose descendants are from Tuscany. I will just have to make do watching Under the Tuscan Sun again and again and again.Love this blog

    • Ipc
      July 30, 2012

      Even though Paris is eailsy my favourite place in the world (so far!), Italy is definitely worth visiting. Venice is absolutely stunning, Florence is filled with such beautiful and fascinating history, and Rome is absolutely amazing to explore…there’s either famous sculptures or ancient ruins around almost every corner.

  5. Cycle saddle
    November 28, 2011

    nice post friend…

    • Yamen
      July 28, 2012

      When I was 17 I moved to France (on my own) to go to university. After my first trip to Italy (oddly, to Venice…long story) in November…I was hokeod for life. While my French is so much better than my Italian, I have spent the last many years flying over France (I wave) to Italia. Italy has my heart even though I complain about what goes on politically, etc. But Italian friends pointed out that I really loved Italy when I finally became angry with much happening there & stopped romanticizing constantly. That’s true, I think. I’m fortunate to have French friends here in DC & maybe that helps me not miss France so much (though I do). But my default reaction is always,always Italy (Rome, on south especially…I like tragic, doomed drama, what can I say :)Anyone who knows the south will know what I mean. And as for time, well I differ from others here. For me, definitely off-season to Venice ..it’s quite atmospheric, you can hop onto cafe tables when the acqua alta comes in, you have the chance to meet actual residents,less crowded. It’s all in how you approach it. I think it’s more romantic with the rain & the fog.Lovely pix, lovely blog.ciao, Susan & Giulia the gattina

  6. Venecijaneri Beograd
    March 8, 2012

    there isn’t better way to see a city like ridding a bike!! 🙂 …great feeling!! great post ..thanks for sharing

    • Fabien
      July 29, 2012

      i am italian,i think that vciene is a nice place, but to visit just for few day….it’s too touristic…too many people, the food is by now international….i went once for the “biennale di architettura” and it’s too expensive and there is a big crow.for summer’s travel i suggest to go in sardinia, or in sicily…..good food, lovely place and beach.or in toscana, whit beautiful countryside.there is also rome with a lots of roman ruin.you could do a tour with many stop moving by car.it’s so romantic.we have a different region with dfferent quality and loca dialect.ask me whatever you want if this idea colud be better.i could help you to understand.italy has many cute place to visit, not just vciene.sorry for my english!love mary

  7. Mike Knoll
    February 28, 2015

    Thanks Madeline for this biking tip. Looks like a great bike ride for a summer day. Seems as though renting a bike in Chioggia would be simpler than the opposite. I hope to do this ride this summer.


Leave a Reply