Welcome to Grado

Grado and the Lagoon are an original landscape, artistic and anthropological microcosm within the Region Friuli Venezia Giulia and the Province of Gorizia as well.

Its intricate and remote historical events are linked up with the history of Aquileia from the time of the first barbarian invasions, and with the history of the Republic of Venice. At the fall of the Republic of Venice Aquileia shared the lots of the Habsburg counties of Gorizia and Gradisca and at the fall of the Austrian Empire its history combined with the most recent Italian history.

With over 12 thousands hectares land and 25 kilometres coastline the lagoon of Grado extends towards west as far as the lagoon of Marano and is the most beautiful in the whole Mediterranean. A tangle of canals and valleys, among the slimes , "mote" as the inhabitants use to call those little lagoon isles, covered with reeds and bushes.
A place of no time, reign of the water, wind and silence.

An unique ecosystem with a delicate equilibrium, still perfectly preserved. To protect this ecosystem there are two wide natural reserves, ideal habitat for several water-birds species that nest or winter here, such as herons, coots, wild ducks, teals, garganeys, ducks and gulls.

On the little isles that are still called by their old "gradese" names the fishermen used to live in the "casoni" of straw.

Today there are very few fishermen living there for the whole year, yet the "casoni" are still the symbol of the Lagoon and the house of several Grado inhabitants, who still live by fishing. Some of them have been transformed in rustic trattorias and during summer offer good fish dishes with polenta and wine from Friuli.

The pointed roof is the only element that breaks the flat horizon in the Lagoon.
With a rectangular plan and a pyramid-shaped straw roof, the "casoni" have been built using the rare materials that can be found here: poles, reeds, straw and wicker. Inside there is only one big room with a fireplace, the door facing west in order to protect from the cold eastern winds.