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Gems of Northern Italy - Day 5 Chioggia by the sea shore

This is the fifth in our series on Uniworld’s Gems of Northern Italy river cruise. To start from the beginning, click here.  Today we focus on the small fishing village of Chioggia.

Muscles and mussels

From our dock in Chioggia, Dave took a bike ride into town.  Very easy, very pleasant ride from the ship to the Adriatic Sea.  Our destination was a Cassone, a cross between a fisherman’s house and a restaurant.  It’s basically a  structure high above the sea on piles with huge fishing nets.  We enter into a small dining room overlooking the sea and the beach.  To qualify as a Cassone, at least 50% of everything served has to be locally sourced - as in from that structure.  They demonstrate how the fishing nets dredge the sand using  huge netting for clams and some fish.

We start with a nice bowl of mussels. Delicious.  Followed by pasta with a tomato based seafood sauce.  Clams, squid, some fish and a huge prawn fill out the sauce.  This is all washed down with some prosecco and water. Fresh doesn't begin to describe it.  

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A word on the bike ride.  First, this was very, very easy.  Second, for some reason Uniworld didn't use the bikes on board and instead contracted the excursion out.  The tour leader was very good but this was not up to the standards I would have expected.  There was only one person from the tour company - typically there's a second person trailing to ensure no one gets lost.  Also, the bicycles were not in the best shape - two of us lost chains during the 8 mile ride.  Several asked to have our tires pumped with air but there was no air pump. So, it was nice and pleasant but not athletic in any way and a bit less professional than we've seen in the past.

Warm milk and fish

While Dave was riding the bike, Sue took a walking tour of the little fishing village of Chioggia.  Passing through narrow streets between the dock and the main square we could see the small quarters where most people lived.  The tour guide wasn't particularly talkative so we mostly wandered around viewing the central street and several canals.  They call it "little Venice" - see what you think from the pictures.

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Instead of going on a boat ride to view mussels (been there, done that), Sue strolled over to the fish market.  This market is by far larger than any other market we saw all week.  The fish were "lovingly" arranged so that their freshness could be easily seen (nice red gills, clear eyes, etc).  After the market I stopped for a cappuccino.  I asked for "decaffeinated" and after a little hesitation and Italian clarification, the attendant said "Si" and was off.  What I got back was basically warm milk.  Apparently "decaf" and "cappuccino" should never be said in the same sentence.

Chioggia in the rear view

The Venetian lagoon between Chioggia and Venice The Venetian lagoon between Chioggia and Venice

A classic view of Venice - St Mark's square is on the left A classic view of Venice - St Mark's square is on the left

We headed back to the ship.  After leaving the beach we headed around the small lagoon, to a bridge which took us to the main island where the ship was docked.   The ship left Chioggia around 2 pm and arrived at yet another port in Venice by 4.  This was a restful afternoon.

We  dock across the canal from St. Mark’s Square.  The iconic towers and basilica are easily seen from our balcony.  This is a million dollar view to be sure.

We had dinner in the main dining room and  watched movie in the evening.  It was fun watching “The Tourist” on the top deck of the ship since it was filmed almost entirely in Venice.  The movie was entertaining enough but it was neat to see the Hollywood version of our day’s tour.


Watching the movie (outside with popcorn) was a fun and fitting end to the day. Chioggia is a fishing village and beach town - very outdoorsy.  Visions of mussels and clams, fishing boats by the thousands and cool sea breezes were combined with the sophisticated Venice portrayed in the movie.  Sometimes art really does imitate life. And sometimes it’s just Hollywood.   


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