Grado Lagoon is a network of canals and fish farms amidst the “mote” (tiny islands of the lagoon).
The lagoon fishermen once lived on these tiny, reed and shrub-covered islands in their casoni (traditional huts with reed roofs), which remain the emblem of the Lagoon and are still the base for many people of Grado, who continue to make a living from fishing. The casoni were built with the material found on site: wooden posts, reeds and straw. Inside there was just one large room with a fireplace, whereas the door faced west to protect from the easterly winds.
The typical boat used to travel around the shallow waters around the islands of the Lagoon was the batèla, a local flat-bottomed boat, with no keel, and rowed by one man standing up. It could also have an engine.
The casoni can still be found, some abandoned, others restored to become isolated multi-building hotels, immersed in nature and accessed only by boat. Others have been turned into rustic trattorias during the summer season, where you can taste excellent fish dishes, accompanied by polenta and wine.
The casone of Vitige Gaddi on the Mota dei Biviaqua is well-known. From here the “hunter, photographer, traveller, casoner, graisari” documented his trips on the Grado Lagoon in an immense collection of pictures.
Don’t miss a trip on the lagoon amidst the casoni. A timeless place, the kingdom of water, wind and silence.
DID YOU KNOW THAT...?
Pier Paolo Pasolini fell in love with a “Casone” on the Lagoon of Grado (known as Mota Safon), to the extent that he used it to shoot some of the scenes for Medea (in 1969). He used to stop here to read or meditate, wrapped in the all-embracing, almost sacred silence, interrupted only by the flight of a seagull.