The island of Pellestrina in some ways is an extension of the island of the Lido towards the south, and it has similar characteristics: as long as the Lido (more than 10 km/6 miles) but even narrower.
In fact, the island is a thin strip of land extending west of the (*)Murazzo [seawall] which protects it against erosion by the sea; to the east of the murazzo, until a few years ago, there was only a reef; more recently the Consorzio Venezia Nuova has created a wide beach interspersed by “brushes” – perpendicular jetties – as another means of protection against erosion, so that the surface area of the island has nearly doubled. As part of the project the ship that was wrecked on the reef in front of Pellestrina was removed, that for two decades had been the backdrop to the piazza dell’imbarcadero [embarkation].
The island is crossed by a paved road that runs along the murazzo from the imbarcadero of S. Maria del Mare (on the north) to that of Pellestrina (to the south) which is located just before the cemetery; beyond the cemetery to the south there is an unpaved roadway which after about 1 km/.6 mile reduces to a narrow wall-footing between the murazzo and the lagoon and which ends at the oasis [wildlife sanctuary] of Ca’ Roman, which is a nature reserve to protect several species of breeding birds including the fratino [Snowy Plover], the fraticello [Little Tern] and the gruccione [European Bee-eater]; in 2007 the forest service installed a serpentine barrier to prevent the entry of bikers who had reduced the sanctuary to a motocross track, causing serious risk of extinction of these protected species; entry by bicycles is neither prohibited nor impossible, but passing through the serpentine is so narrow that it forces most bicyclists to dismount and enter on foot; probably the better option, although a bike is quiet and slow, it could still be a disturbance …
The oasis consisting of a beach and woods is certainly the most interesting destination of this route; a footpath crosses through the woods to the breakwater and the lighthouse at Ca’ Roman, from where there is an attractive view of Chioggia and its harbor; this is the extreme southern point of the island. Currently (2009) the route ends abruptly at the breakwater in front of the Mose shipyard. A side trail through the woods allows one to reach the beach at Ca’ Roman which during the summer is very popular by swimmers who come there swimming by sea.
The cyclist can reach the island of Pellestrina in two ways: