Although Venice is mainly a water city, its history and ancient local culture were strongly influenced by its deep connections with the mainland. Venetian hinterland still feed on its historical, social, artistic and natural heritage which makes it a jewel yet to be discovered. Using San Giuliano Venice as starting point, you can undertake some of the most beautiful itineraries that these land offers.
San Giuliano Park
San Giuliano Park is the largest European urban park and extends on 700 hectares overlooking the Venice lagoon. San Giuliano Park is an extraordinary example of environmental recovery. It is one of the best places for the study of the lagoon environment and destination of thousands of athletes practicing water and land sports. The Park is known to have hosted huge events of world importance, such as the visit of the Pope Benedict XVI in May 2011 and the Heineken Jammin’ Festival. It is intersected by a network of miles-long walking trails and cycle lanes; it is the green lung of Venice and a place of leisure and catering. San Giuliano Park is a symbol of the victory of nature on speculation and pollution. San Giuliano Park is the result of a big cleaning up intervention and recovery of the lagoon’s natural heritage. The park connects the Venice waterworld with the mainland. San Giuliano, or Julian the Hospitalier, was a famous catholic Saint endowed with an extraordinary sense of hospitality and protector of travelers. The park was inaugurated in 2003 and it is very popular both among Venetians and tourists, who discovered it as a lovely alternative for outdoor Sunday trips.
Historical and artistic treasures of unimaginable beauty are hidden along the Brenta river connecting the cities of Venice and Padova: the “Venetian villas”. From the 16th century onwards rich and powerful Venetian families built here their countryside villas, many of which are currently open for visiting. In these grand villas, whose walls are decorated with amazing frescos and in their romantic gardens, the Venetian families used to spend their free time, organize parties and meet their political and business partners.
Along the Sile river
The Sile river is a fantastic example of perfectly clear waters and biodiversity. This natural park was spared from urbanisation and resembles as much as possible to the landscape as seen by farmers and merchants a few centuries ago. By treading the ancient routes of “burci” along the Sile river you will discover the rural areas of the Veneto region made of water and land together. Burci were barges used for the transport of goods, pulled by people or oxen walking on roads running along the river (still existing today), called “alzaie”. Along the way you will see numerous churches, villages, small squares and lakes.
In virtue of its history and deep bonds linking it to Central Europe, Venice and San Giuliano Park are one of the stops of the Mitteleuropa itinerary.