Venice and its Lagoon UNESCO World Heritage

Municipality of Chioggia

The Municipality of Chioggia covers an area of approximately 188 square kilometres and stretches between the River Po Delta and the Venice Lagoon. It is an area included in the UNESCO Site “Venice and its Lagoon” right from its registration in 1987. About 52,000 people are settled in the municipal area, which borders on the municipalities of Campagna Lupia, Cavan, Codevigo, Cona, Correzzola, Loreo, Rosolina and Venice and includes ten hamlets (Brondolo, Borgo San Giovanni, Ca’ Bianca, Ca’ Lino, Cà Easter, Cavanella d’ Adige, Isolaverde, Sant’Anna di Chioggia, Sottomarina and Valli).

The municipality consists in a peninsular area located between the Venetian Lagoon and the River Po Delta. The historic centre of Chioggia is located on a series of small lagoon islands that are connected by bridges. Together with the nearby Sottomarina, located in the stretch of land that separates the lagoon from the sea, it forms the Island of the Union. In the sixteenth century, Chioggia was the second-largest city of the Serenissima, as can be perceived by the high concentration of historical artistic remains: the Cathedral, the shrine of St Martin and the Basilica of St. James. There are also numerous exhibition spaces: the Clock Museum, the Museum of the Southern Lagoon, the Museum of Adriatic Zoology Giuseppe Olivi.

Following the signing of the Act of Understanding in 2007, The Municipality of Chioggia became a member of the “Steering Committee” of the UNESCO Site “Venice and its Lagoon”. The Committee holds the following Institutional powers regarding the protection, enhancement and management of the Site’s assets: managing the territories, urban planning, conservation and requalification of buildings for residential use, for social and cultural activities, for production, craft and trade – essential to the conservation of the socio-economic characteristics of the lagoon urban settlements – economic planning, construction of primary infrastructure works, landscaping and environmental protection, enhancement and promotion of tourism .

Main attractions:

The tegnùes

The tegnùes are rock formations that break up the sandy expanse of the Adriatic seabed creating true oases of biodiversity. The term “tegnùe”, which in Venetian dialect means ‘withheld’, was created by the fishermen and refers to the fishing nets getting caught in these rocks. These structures, studied in the eighteenth century by Abbot Olivi, are mainly distributed in front of the coastline that lies between the Delta of the Po River and that of the Timavo River. But just outside the town of Chioggia is the wider and most important complex of tegnùes, in which the largest groupings found so far can be seen.

Museum of the Southern Lagoon

The Museum, located in the former Convent of San Francesco outside the walls, hosts archaeological and ethnographic collections of the lagoon environment. The museum tour starts on the ground floor with the remains of pre-Roman, Roman and medieval age, it continues on the first floor with medieval, Renaissance and modern collections, and ends on the second floor with the exhibition on shipbuilding and the navy starting from the eighteenth century. Since 2014 the cistern of the monastery is also open to visitors.

Museum of Adriatic Zoology Giuseppe Olivi

In this museum, inaugurated in 2011 in the 18th century Palazzo Grassi, visitors can closely observe Adriatic marine organisms, including the large specimen of basking shark caught in Chioggia in 2003. Room after room, the historical collection of Trieste and Rovigno, one of the oldest and most important in Italy, the exhibition panels and the multimedia stations introduce visitors to biodiversity and a variety of marine ecosystems, explaining the habits and behaviour of the animals that inhabit the underwater world. The museum tour also points out some delicate and controversial issues such as the relationship between man and the sea and between tradition and innovation.

Chioggia radicchio (PGI)

The Chioggia radicchio PGI is a fresh leaf vegetable, a variety of chicory that is produced in two types: tardivo (late-growing) and precoce (early- growing).

Fish Festival

The Fish Festival of Chioggia (“Sagra del Pesce”) is one of the most-awaited and representative folkloric-culinary events of the Veneto Region. The event aims to promote the culture of the city of Chioggia, its local culinary traditions and typical local products. During the ten days of the Festival, there are also various entertainment events, from stage shows and concerts to activities for children.

San Felice Fort

Placed at the end of the Murazzi wall, San Felice Fort was built in a strategic position on the natural islet at the harbour mouth of the lagoon, which allows a 360-degree control of both the sea and the lagoon. After a long period of abandonment, San Felice Fort is now at the centre of a restoration and promotion project; today it can be visited thanks to the activities of a citizens’ committee.

The projects of the Management Plan involving Chioggia
  •  System of lagoon fortifications in the perimeter area in the south up to the San Felice fort
  •  Kitchen gardens and periurbane agriculture
  •  Renovation systems for the lagoon huts, equipment and boats for the purpose of raising awareness and spreading knowledge of the lagoon flora and fauna and fishing methods
  •  The CITY OF CHIOGGIA CARD for museums and historic buildings
  •  Development of fishin tourism as an extension of traditional fishing
  •  “Scene di Paglia” Festival
UNESCO Itineraries in the Municipality of Chioggia The website of the Municipality of Chioggia
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