OFFERING the best of both worlds, Lido Di Jesolo combines the convenience of a modern tourist resort with Italy's rich historical heritage just around the corner.

The imposing central square serves as a focal point for the effervescent hustle and bustle of inquisitive visitors.

By the first evening we felt at home in the eclectic crowd and like some cultural initiation we sampled the shops, coffee houses and ice cream parlours that sprawled the expansive street.

We stayed in Hotel Principe Palace, which overlooked the square, capturing views of the plaza and the beach beyond.

By day we ventured to the promenade to sample the Italian dining experience.

Due to Jesolo's tourist-orientated nature, the town is dotted with a whole host of eateries and we were never disappointed.

The 15km stretch of beach is never more than a few minutes away, but a word of warning - Jesolo beach tends to divide opinion since tourist convenience has been prioritised at the expense of raw beauty with an orderly line of deckchairs and parasols.

Nevertheless, as we rubbed our feet in the warm sand and stared out at the calm crystal blue water, any reservations we had soon drifted away.

When we tired of the beach, shops and eateries, there were plenty more places to explore, most notably Venice, accessible via a couple of buses and a boat and a world away from the Jesolo plaza.

Venice is built on an archipelago of 122 islands formed by around 150 canals and connected by about 400 bridges.

We found ourselves inextricably lost but as we weaved through alleyways and over bridges, past restaurants and shops, we were struck by the romance of Venice - being lost became part of the fun, a journey of discovery.

However, finding somewhere to eat was a different matter altogether.

Guidebooks consistently warn of high prices and low standards but with some perseverance we found a pleasant restaurant in the shade by the water.

Venice must have ignited our adventurous spirit because the next day we started making plans to head even further afield to Trieste, an Italian town close to Slovenian border.

Our destination was Grotta Gingante, the second largest natural chamber in the world containing spectacular formations of stalactites and stalagmites.

Open to the public since 1908, the enormous cavern stands 107 metres high and 280 metres long and is traversed via a set of steps in a chilly atmosphere.

The rest of the time was spent at a gentler pace - swimming, shopping and soaking in the café culture.

Hotel Principe Palace also offers bike rental and we relished the opportunity to get out in the sunshine and explore the further reaches and scenic spots of the town such as the canal and pinewoods. The town is quite flat, making it pleasant for cycling.

Ultimately, Lido Di Jesolo offers a diverse holiday experience and a taste of Italy.

We'll certainly be back for more.