The Adriatic Sea, as depicted in the maps of the 2nd half of the 4th century BC, looks as ... read more
The Lagoons of Grado and Marano are fascinating amphibious microcosms with polymeric natural scenarios of enchanting beauty. These wonders from the estuaries of the Isonzo River to the Aussa-Corno River extend in a western direction to the Lignano Sabbiadoro beach. These two bordering lagoons are extremely different. The Grado Lagoon, is made up of alternating marshes, solid grounds and islands, many which are man-made. It was once the residence of a fisherman's community.
The Marano Lagoon, instead, is protected from the sea by a peninsula of solid grounds, made up of islands that were inhabited only in the area of the River Stella mouth, the River Cormor and the island of Saint Andrea. There are many historical and archeological documents and findings relative to these lagoons.
The Grado Lagoon was inhabited since the colony of Aquileia (founded in the 181 BC) and after the decadence of Aquileia in the 5th and the 6th century, it grew and prospered. It has been proven that after the Hun and Longobard invasions, it was inhabited by the refugees from the city of Aquileia and the surrounding territories, in a similar way of many villages in the upper Adriatic area, like Altino. The original site is responsible for the foundation of Venice.
The Marano Lagoon, the oldest in the Frioli-Venezia Giulia region, started to be inhabited during the Roman era, and at that time it was a terminal and a place of exchange of goods coming from several parts of the Mediterranean Sea, with a flourishing interexchange with the big port of Aquileia. Thanks to its strategic location on the sea, Marano was fortified during the patriarchal of Aquileia (in the year 1031). From the 1420 to 1797, it was continuously under the administration of Venice. Only in the year 1890, its system of fortified walls was demolished.
In both lagoons were typical residences "Casoni", that were built all over the little islands, a construction method similar to the Palafitticol villages, built using local tree trunks. The fishing techniques too were created specifically for these ground conditions that are characterized by canals with shallow water, navigable only with small boats with low draughts.
(Thanx to the Museo of the Lagoon of Marano Lagunare - pictures by Francesco Leggio)