Lido is a 12-km-long sandy island, and always was Venice natural protection from the fury of the Adriatic Sea.
The powerful fleet of the Serenissima used to depart from the San Nicolo’ harbor in Lido. In 998 Doge Pietro Orseolo left from this point bound to the Dalmatian islands where he had a glorious victory, obtaining full power on the Adriatic sea and coasts: this was the beginning of the political and economic rise of Venice.
The Festa della Sensa (on Ascension day) is celebrated in memory of this victory; it’s the celebration of a wedding between Venice and the Sea, whereby the Doge used to throw a ring in the sea and utter the following words: “Desponsamus te mare in signum veri perpetuique dominii”.
The economic development of Lido was helped by its beautiful golden-sand beaches: the custom of swimming and sunbathing led to the building of ‘capanne’ (wooden beach cabans resembling small houses) and transformed Lido into the beach resort of the Venetians.
The luxury hotel Excelsior, by architect Giovanni Sardi, was built to attract elite tourists and during the fascist time the Casino building (open only in summer time) was erected. To be remembered is also the Annual International Film Festival, which is held here in the Palazzo del Cinema every summer.
Few but interesting buildings from the past still survive: the church of Santa Maria Elisabetta (mid-16th century), the church and convent of San Nicolo’, with the 16th century cloister and the Jewish Cemetery, with tombs from the 16th and 17th centuries.
Other interesting Lido destinations are the old village of Malamocco and the revived beach area of Alberoni.
The ancient Jewish Cemetary runs alongside part of the Lagoon, with tombs dating from the 16th and 17th centuries and is an important artistic and historical witness to the Hebrew culture at the time of the Serenissima Republic.
This fine architectural group, which is managed by Franciscan friars, includes the church, with a single nave, the convent and the 16th-century cloister and the Baroque bell tower (1628-29). On the portal of the church can be noted the statue of the...
Erected, together with the bell tower, in the second half of the 16th century in a late-Renaissance style and enlarged in 1620, it divides the waters between the square of the same name and the famous Gran Viale.
The Cinema Palace which hosts the Venice Film Festival is located on Lido of the lagoon city. The first festival was held on the terrace of the Hotel Excelsior on August 6, 1932. But with its increasing success it became necessary to build a...