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East of the Venetian Riviera – Caorle


Madonna dell' Angelo
Madonna dell' Angelo

Paradise sandy beaches, plenty of great hotels, sailing boats, sea food and a piece of great history... Here's a look at Caorle, once the 9th most important city in the Venetian Republic.


Many of you have seen the sign for this city of 11,000 inhabitants on the motorway many times, but you haven't driven the 30km down to really see it. It's certainly a little overshadowed by the even bigger Lignano, Jesolo and of course Venice, but Caorle is a city that immediately impresses.


As soon as you are greeted by the sign for Caorle and turn into the town in a roundabout, you will be greeted by a canal of half a dozen fishing boats on your right, from which fishermen supply locals, tourists and, above all, restaurants every day.


Channel for ships
Channel for ships

You can quickly feel the pulse of the city centre as you search for empty parking spaces at the many roundabouts. This is why many people like to visit in autumn or winter, when it's less crowded, but most people still come to Caorle mainly in the summer to spend their summer holidays on the two long paradise-sand beaches (Levante and Ponente).


So do as you like. But there are sights to see in Caorle at any time of year. Apart from the already mentioned beautiful canal, where the view is sure to take a rest, there is the city centre or the old town. Follow Calle delle Liburniche or Via Francesconi down to the main street, Rio Terra delle Botteghe, where everything Caorle has to offer can be found. From shops selling prestigious brands and local products, to the hustle and bustle of the city at bars, restaurants or gelaterias.


#hint For all parents: it's important that Caorle has a huge amusement park for your children to really enjoy. The car park around it is really big, so parking shouldn't be a problem.


Running parallel to the "main street" is Calle Lunga, which is exactly what the translation says it is - a long street called "calle" in Venetian. It is criss-crossed by several streets and squares that give the town centre its charm. The Calle del doge and Piazza di S Pio XI are good examples.


The Old Town ends at the impressive 11th-century St Stephen's Cathedral, a mix of Romanesque and Byzantine architecture, with a 48-metre-high bell tower that has tilted slightly over the centuries.


the cathedral of saint Stephen with Caorle main street
St Stephen's Cathedral

If you face the front of the cathedral, you can already see a staircase on the right, leading to the seafront promenade, which is very similar to the one in Grado. But it is possible to walk along the top or along the rocks. Walking along the latter turns out to be a very beautiful experience, as many artists have left their works of art on the rocks. It is a kind of forma viva on the rocks. The promenade leads to the extremely beautiful Basilica of the Madonna dell' Angelo. Walking up to it, one can see why it is one of the most photographed parts of Caorle and why so many people get married there. It is one of the biggest attractions in Caorle.



Of course, the promenade also extends in the other direction from the Basilica. For those who like to walk, you can see the many hotels along the promenade and walk along the whole of Ponente beach to the pier, from which you can also see the tourist village of Porto Santa Margherita, which is a ghost town in winter, as most of the hotels are completely closed and the town is completely deprived of vibrancy.


However, if you walk from the basilica by the Levante beach, apart from the hotels, the sand dunes, and the sea, after a few kilometres (3.7 km to be precise) you can reach Porto di Falconera, located at the start of the Nicesolo canal. There, a tourist trail begins, which can be followed on foot or by bicycle, passing by one of the most remarkable and unique sights of Caorle - the casones.


casones made from cane in the middle of the Venetian laguna
Casone in Laguna

Casones are dwellings made of cane and wood for fishermen and their families, which have now become a tourist attraction. Most of them are nowadays used more for tourists than for fishermen, as they provide comfortable and attractive accommodation, and a few are still used by fishermen, at least for storage. Along the canal, you can walk along a beautiful footpath and see many casones that will give you a glimpse of the old days.


#hint Since you've decided to take a trip to Caorle, you should also treat yourself to some Caorlian seafood. Spaghetti con vongole (spaghetti with vongole clams), or grilled Jacobean clams (capesante alla griglia) are unforgettable.


With all this in mind, it is no wonder that the famous American writer Ernest Hemingway also spent much of his life in the Caorlean lagoon, with which he was truly in love.


WE RECOMMEND

🍷 Drinks: our choice would be a glass of local Friulano wine, but if you like sparkling wine, definitely a glass of Prosecco.

🥗 Food: We recommend seafood that is freshly caught. There is plenty of that in Caorle. Our pick would be spaghetti with vongole clams (spaghetti con vongole).

If you really don't fancy seafood, there's a wonderful option at Pinseria Bolle, where you can get pinsa - the Venetian version of pizza with a slightly thicker dough - and a substantial wine list.

📷 Must-see: See the city centre, the Madonna dell' Angelo and St Stephen's Basilica, and stroll along the paradise beaches.

🏨 Accommodation: We highly recommend the AQA Hotel, which is truly exceptional, with prices in low season that are totally affordable and, at an extra cost, the potential for a more luxurious experience.

🔝 Top experience: the casones and the lagoon next to it. The view of the lagoon makes you feel completely relaxed.



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