La Bella Vita Barge Cruise Photos
Day 3: Chioggia
Chioggia is one of the most important fishing ports on the Adriatic, and its citizens (such as the owner of this vintage boat) take pride in their ancient city and its history. See our "Chioggia" article at Venice for Visitors for more information and photos.
To give us a taste of Chioggia, Paola Salvato (left) led us on a walking tour of the city center.
Like Venice, Chioggia is a city of palazzi, canals, bridges, and boats--at least in the centro storico, or historic center, which we reached on foot from La Bella Vita:
Chioggia also has a newer resort quarter, Sottomarina, which is popular with Europeans--and particularly Italians--in the summertime. If you're adventurous and have a week to spare, you can hire a self-drive Penichette (a cabin cruiser decorated like a barge) for an independent tour of the Venetian Lagoon.
In Chioggia, you can create a habitat for seagulls simply by
installing a roof rack on your car.
Our first stop in Chioggia was the , a 13th Century church with paintings by Carpaccio, Tintoretto, and other artists--including one painting where a dog appears to be the subject of veneration.
One of the church's highlights is a large wooden crucifix with a distinctive characteristic: Christ's expression changes as you stand beneath and move from left to right or vice versa.
Our next stop was Chioggia's historic Pescheria or Fish Market, where Paola translated as a fishmonger talked about fish, clams, and mussels.
We enjoyed a leisurely walk down the city center's main street, the Corso del Popolo, which has arcades and a that dates back to the time when Chioggia was a walled city.
During our free time in Chioggia, we took a moment to photograph the "Winged Cat," as citizens of Venice have nicknamed Chioggia's miniature version of Venice's Winged Lion.
We also admired the local dogs, including this friendly-faced furball.
We couldn't resist sampling
crema fritta, or fried cream, at the
. This specialty of the Veneto region is made
by breading and deep-frying slices of egg custard. It's traditionally served
during Carnevale, but at Da Roberto, you can buy it at any time of
year. (Think of it as Italy's answer to deep-fried ice cream or candy bars.)
It was now early afternoon, so we and La Bella Vita's other passengers met up for the short drive to the barge's new riverside mooring at Porto Levante along the River Po. (While we were exploring Chioggia, Captain Rudy had piloted the barge across a short stretch of the Adriatic Sea to the Po Delta.
La Bella Vita was waiting for us when we arrived at Porto Levante, and our chef--Andrea Chin--was in the lounge with hostess Ivana Veic, ready to announce the day's lunch menu:
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