A strip of land between the sea and the lagoon, a natural park of extraordinary beauty, a unique environment, to be visited and enjoyed in total freedom. This is Cavallino-Treporti: fifteen kilometres of coast, just a short distance from Venice, a place full of beaches, pinewoods, gardens, canals, paths over land and water, an ideal destination for many excursions. You can also see a wide range of flora and fauna from the banks of the Sile River, along the network of internal channels, in the vast bodies of water and the fish-filled lagoon marshes. A visit to this area can also mean a journey through history. The enchanting village of Lio Piccolo which dates back to around the year 1000 and periodically hosts pink flamingos; the gates of Cavallino – with its marvellous, old customs building, today a lovely inn – that connect the Sile river to the lagoon, for centuries the only water route to and from Venice; the ancient church of Cavallino (XVIII century); Treporti with its historic centre and two characteristic bell-towers; Forte Vecchio a singular example of a mid-XIX century Austrian fortification.
Caorle lagoon, so loved by Ernest Hemingway, is a protected natural area waiting to be discovered. It offers a unique flora like the Venetian glasswort, the Caspian lemon tree and the feathery fairy linen, truly unique plants; a multitude of migratory and sedentary birds have been recorded here (over 280 species including the duck, the bittern, the red heron, the common coot, the small grebe and the mallard ducks) and a wide variety of fish choose to reproduce here. In the past, this was where fishermen lived with their families in the traditional wooden and reed marsh houses called casoni, which can still be seen today, for example, along the cycling trail, which starts at the municipal stadium (Piazzale Olimpia), continues along Strada Palangon up to the so-called “Island of the Fishermen” and from here goes up a cycling-walking trail which coasts the lagoon up to Falconera: you have to try this out! The lagoon is navigable and during summer it’s possible to explore it on board a tourist boat which, in addition to offering a pleasant trip across canals and past emerged land, often make stops which allow you to visit the casoni!
An excursion a few rides from the beach and a few steps from the historic centre is the one that takes us to the “Antiche Mura”. This name indicates the archaeological site of Jesolo. The place includes the remains of the ancient Cathedral of Santa Maria which, according to historians, was to be the second largest in the area after the Basilica of San Marco in Venice. We can still see the square base of the bell tower, the floor with a mosaic floral motif, the corner of a wall and the remains of a crypt. According to studies, the building should have been built on a pre-existing church of the sixth century. In the area of Antiche Mura, still under study and recovery, there are the remains of the church of San Mauro. In this area the first “hotel” of Jesolo was discovered dating back to the 4th-5th century AD. The surprising discovery is the result of excavations carried out by the archaeologists of the Ca’ Foscari University of Venice. It is probably a stopping place, perhaps also for imperial officials, which was located along an endo-lagoon trade route. Characterized by a series of rooms that are all the same, side by side, and divided into rooms that were supposed to accommodate bedding and kitchens, the building served precisely for hospitality, a real hotel structure. Near it there were workshops for craft activities and probably also a small chapel for religious functions.
Departing from Cavallino locks, keep going on via Cristo Re alongside of river Sile wiggly bends, thick with reeds and populated with coots and mute swans, until you reach the church of San Giovanni Battista, the most ancient in the Piave area: around it the historic centre of Jesolo developed. From piazza I Maggio take via Battisti and at the traffic light turn left; ride along via Roma Sinistra for about 3 Kms up to via Posteselle: enter it and immerse yourself in the relaxing countryside environment until you come to the junction with via Colombo. Turn left and follow the road along Cavetta canal as far as the centre of Cortellazzo: here is the mouth of river Piave with its typical fishing nets that contribute to create an incomparable scenery. From the little port get into via Massaua, cross the pontoon bridge and carry on for a km heading for Torre di Fine. If you want to make a detour you can reach Eraclea Mare and visit the Laguna del Mort, a naturalistic oasis that has become a natural habitat for hundreds of birds. Returning to the town of Torre di Fine, it is possible to see a monumental drainage pump, evidence of the huge reclamation work on the
surrounding marshlands. Past the bridge in front of the pump, take via Vallesina then merging into via Fagiana and get ready for a stunning landscape: wide open spaces covered with rice, corn, wheat and soybean fields, orchards and vineyards following one another. Flanking the Largon canal, part of the historic “Litoranea Veneta” which linked through its waters Venice to Trieste, you arrive to the little village of Brian with its historic locks, constructed with the purpose to prevent tidal salt water from entering the river waters used to irrigate the fields. Cycle to the right and cross a small bridge that will lead you to a tiny tarmac road: ride it up to the main road towards Caorle.
The Grand Canal is a large reversed S-shaped canal that crosses all of Venice and divides its quarters in two: three on one side – Santa Croce, San Polo, Dorsoduro -, three on the other side – Cannaregio, San Marco, Castello -. Almost 4 kilometres long, four bridges span over it: the Ponte di Calatrava, the Ponte degli Scalzi, the famous Rialto Bridge and the Accademia Bridge. Back in the days, the main commercial avenue to link San Marco basin with the merchant centre of Rialto, in the XVI century Venetian nobles began building their lavish mansions, splendid Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque palaces of unrivalled beauty. Going through the Grand Canal in a gondola or a vaporetto from Piazzale Roma to San Marco visitors fill find many palaces: the Fondaco dei Turchi, one of the oldest warehouses and residences in Venetian-Byzantine style; Ca’ Vendramin Calergi, the world’s oldest casino; Ca’ Pesaro of the XVII century is now the International Gallery of Modern Art; Ca’ d’Oro, an example of flowering Gothic; Ca’ Foscari, a paradigm of Venetian architecture of the fifteenth century, now the main seat of the University; Ca’ Rezzonico, an authentic example of the Venetian eighteenth century, whose ballroom is regarded as the most prestigious private setting in Venice for its frescoes; Palazzo Grassi with its Istrian stone facade and finally the Basilica of San Marco, the centre of religious and public life, the place where the Doges were ordained.
Eastern Venice has a wide range of food and wine on offer which is varied and rich in flavours, which also includes various CDOG, CDO and PDO products. Journeys into discovering tastes, traditions and local specialities make this territory the ideal place
for lovers of great food and wine. The natural style of cultivation and breeding methods, the respect for tradition, the seasonality and the allowed time required for proper maturation and conservation characterise the excellence of agricultural and food products of Eastern Venice. Our region is included in the wine-making areas of DOC Lison Pramaggiore, DOC Piave, DOC Venezia and DOC Prosecco, the last wines are certainly the most exported all over the world. Among the most well-known agri-food products of our land we mention montasio DOP, a tasty semi-hard cooked cheese made from cow’s milk; the white asparagus of Bibione, with an intense flavor and unique scent thanks to the sandy soil soaked in salt water in which they grow; the purple artichokes of Sant’Erasmo, whose shoots – the castraure – have a tender and fleshy consistency; the Lagoon’s schille, small shrimps that live in sandy bottoms; the moscardini of Caorle, octopus-like molluscs with eight tentacles, moeche and mazanete, unique sea crabs all over the world and then jujubes and Cavallino tomato, eels from the Livenza river, Barena honey and many other typical products of our province.