About Lido di Jesolo
Lido di Jesolo is a purpose-built beach resort in north-east Italy, on the Adriatic Sea close to Venice. Its miles of sandy beach, rows of sunbeds and night-time entertainment attract thousands of holidaymakers every summer. Billed by tour operators as the "Venetian Riviera", this is one of Italy's few package sun-sea-and-sand destinations.
At the beginning of the twentieth century, Jesolo (pronounced YEZolo) was a small and insignificant mainland settlement in the Veneto region. Located near the northern end of the Venetian lagoon, Jesolo also happened to lie in proximity to a long sandy seashore. As beach holidays became the fashion, these miles of sand became a resource to exploit. By the 1950s a whole new town began appearing along this flat, sandy coastline. 'Lido di Jesolo' means Jesolo's seaside, and this beach-side town now dwarfs the centro storico of old Jesolo, a few miles inland. Nowadays, when Italians say Jesolo, they usually think of the Lido.
Entirely shaped by tourism, Lido di Jesolo is very different to the typical Italian town. Its layout, its shops and its services are all designed for the convenience of the resort's summer visitors, giving it a rather strange and unreal atmosphere. Existence here feels very sheltered: clean, well-organised and safe. There are first-aid points and life guards, sunbeds and showers, snack-bars and ice-cream shops, mini-golf and climbing frames.
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The town is strung along ten miles of beach, only extending inland for a very short distance (as little as two or three streets). Beyond this are car parks, access roads and building sites. There is one main street - with several name changes - running along the length of the town, busy with shops selling cheap clothes and beach goods. There are scores of restaurants, snack bars, cafes and ice-cream parlours. You can hire bicycles or gamble in an amusement arcade. In the evenings the street is pedestrianised encouraging holidaymakers to wander, shop, eat and drink to their hearts' content.
Although the town is very active at organising attractions and events (from underwear catwalk parades to firework displays), there really isn't a lot of culture here. This isn't a destination for an active sightseeing tourist; you can make day trips into Venice but the journey is a slow one.
Lido di Jesolo is not the same as Venice Lido (Lido di Venezia), which is an island several miles to the south-west, between the Venice and the sea. The word Lido just refers to the seashore.