Thursday 9th September 2004
Porto Tolle to Chioggia (Sottomarina)
The breakfast provided by the hotel was very light and was in complete contrast to that provided in Pomposa. We were served with coffee and two packets of dried toasted bread. I then spotted a pain-au-chocolat on the counter and helped myself. No-one complained.
We then set off for Choggia uncertain of the route. No-one could tell us whether there was a ferry across the river at Porto Levante. The 2002 brochure that we had been given said the ferry was being introduced soon. First we crossed the Po di Venezia – about 400m wide and then shortly afterwards the Po di Maistra. This branch led us northwards towards the coast again through Scanara and on to Porto Levante through an area full of lakes. We asked about the ferry – it wasn’t yet in operation although the slipways and the signposts had been erected. After a cup of tea we followed the Po di Levante 10km inland to the first bridge which carries the busy Via Romea over the river. Fortunately today there weren’t too many lorries and we made the short bridge crossing and immediately turned off into the village of Rosalina. Here we stopped for lunch but now that we were nearer the coast the temperature had dropped and it was only 26°C. So we decided to carry on to Chioggia arriving there about 2.30. There were two other bridges of major river outlets on the way up and on both occasions we had to leave the side roads and join the busy Via Romea but we were able to rejoin the minor roads again shortly after each.
Chioggia is very touristy and tacky and has some resemblance to Venice with its canals. We couldn’t find the tourist information (as usual!) and asked a policeman standing outside his headquarters. He went inside and returned with a map but for some reason gave us the long route to the Tourist Information which happened to be in Sottomarina. Perhaps it was our lack of understanding of Italian which caused the problem. The information bureau was open fortunately and we soon had accommodation booked just across the road on the fifth floor of a hotel overlooking the sea. It was a pity that the view was marred by long lines of beach huts and sunshades. The charge was €55 so we decided to stay for two nights and take the opportunity to visit Venice by taking the ferry and leaving the bike at the hotel the next day. Tonight the bike is safety locked up inside the garage of the hotel – unlike last night where we had to leave it outside in the hotel car park locked to a railing. In fact during the whole journey the various B&B’s and Albergos have all taken great care of the bike and last night was the first time we had had to leave it outside.
Mileage today 44.8 Total mileage so far 392.7