It's a well known thing that few real Venetians live in Venice these days, but have migrated to the mainland and the general hinterland. I have often asked myself how they could bear to do so, but I suppose I can understand that the day-to-day inconveniences (heat, smells, tourists, high prices, having to walk everywhere or take vaporetti or expensive water taxis &c) might overcome any other considerations.
So it was a delight to discover Chioggia. It lies just south of Venice, and is remarkably similar, only unspoilt, untouristy, and on a much smaller scale. They are real locals, too; I arrived on market day and, walking up the crowded main drag, I could barely understand a word: everything was being spoken in the local dialect which sounded a million miles from Italian (which I can get by in).Here is the little (former) cathedral with its eastward-facing but also people-facing altar that I pictured a few posts back.
And the rather orphaned entrance gate to the main drag, with the market just about to begin on the other side.
It really could be Venice…
However, unlike Venice, you can drive right into it.