Caorle medieval village on the sea

CAORLE MEDIEVAL VILLAGE ON THE SEA

A SMALL MEDIEVAL VILLAGE AND A BEAUTIFUL BEACH

Though being, nowadays, along with Porto Santa Margherita and Duna Verde, a modern tourist centre known all over Europe, Caorle has kept intact its characteristic of fishing village deeply related to its ancient traditions. In old times it was the siege of the doge and a faithful subject of the Serenissima Republic of Venice, of which it has maintained the common atmosphere in its campielli and in the narrow streets of the historical centre. The historical and cultural identity of Caorle are with no doubts represented by its millenary dome as well as by its stately cylindrical bell-tower which has always symbolized the image of the town. The dome was erected in 1038 together with the lagoon cathedrals of Torcello, Equilio, San Marco in Venice. Among the several precious treasures kept inside and in the adjacent LiturgicalMuseum, the Gold Altar-piece stands out: it is an altar-frontal made of six panels probably coming from Cipro, which was offered to the cathedral, according to the legend, by the queen of Cipro Caterina Cornaro in 1489. Next to the cathedral the stately bell tower stands out, always the symbol of the town. It is 48 metres high and of cylindrical form; it was erected few decades after the cathedral, about in 1070.

Not far from here, along the roads of the centre, tourists can enjoy a pleasant and relaxing walk, rather after a sunny day at the seaside, discovering the hospitality of a village with unique Venetian origins. Rio Terrà, for instance, is one of the ‘parlours’ inthe open air most visited in the Veneto. Not only in summer the several tourists on holiday meet here for their evening walk, but also out of season many of them decide to spend here their Sundays or the feast-days.
This place has got a great appeal, as it is unique in its genre, beingjust comparable with the polychrome houses in Burano but, in comparison with the Venetian island, it can be easily reached from the hinterland.
The charm of Caorle, a town which boasts of more than two thousand years of history, from the dawn of the first inhabitants of the Veneto to the Roman age, thus including also the epopee of the Serenissima Republic of Venice, whose evidences can be seen in the historical centre, beneath the famous cylindrical bell-tower and the Romanesque cathedral of 1038, is with no doubts represented not only by its architectural sights but also by the beautiful and well-equipped sandy beach spreading for fifteen kilometres along the coast of the upper Adriatic and it offers diversion and entertainment to an ever growing number of tourists.
But Caorle is not only beach, sea and sun. It is the town of the port, of fishing, of marshes, of sport, of ‘Scogliera viva’ (Living Rocks), namely a gallery of sculptures in the open air thanks to the intervention of artists coming from all over the world, who once in a year, in June, meet in this seaside resort in order to take part to the international symposium.
Just an hour far from Venice, Caorle has succeeded in keeping intact the charm of its fishing village, placed among campielli and alleys which surround the ancient fishing port on one side, and on the other, towards the open sea, they lead to the sanctuary of the Madonna of the Angel.
The first stone of the tourist vocation of Caorle was placed in 1911 with the opening of the first hotel, the Petronia, but during the following decades the town has had a rapid development and what at first was a fishing village has become a well known summer holiday resort, with almost two hundred hotels of excellent level, flats and residences, nine camp sites and tourist villages, fifteen health resorts, two docks for pleasure boats containing 900 spaces for boats. If the centre of the village has survived with all its Venetian charm, the surrounding area has perfectly adapted itself to the new reality.
The lagoon, that time has turned into fishing marshes, still nowadays offers hospitality to the typical casoni for fishers, which are made of reeds; some decades ago it was frequented by the American writer Ernest Hemingway, who was a guest of baron Franchetti. In this part of wide nature he was inspired for its short story ‘ Beyond the river, among the trees’.
A significant appeal is given by the great shows taking place in the village: besides the international symposium ‘Living rocks’ in June, not to be missed, in September there is the international Festival of the Street Theatre, the Fish Feast and the costume show ‘Vivistoria’, commemorating the Rape of the Maids experienced by Venice in the tenth century by Dalmatian pirates and happily ended on Caorle beach thanks to the intervention of the Venetian fleet led by doge Pietro Candian II.
But all the year round in Caorle many shows for all tastes take place, from the concert season in the dome to the jazz festival in April, from cabaret to sport activities in the great facilities of the town stadium and of Palamare too, from regattas to rowing boat – races and golf matches on the green of Pra’ delle Torri. In short, it is a town you can enjoy all the year round.