History, tradition and modernity

The history of Caorle

Of the various ancient towns in the Veneto, Caorle, with its seafront promenade and varied rural landscapes, is certainly the most attractive. Of clear Roman origins, the town derives its name from the past, Caprulae in fact, the ancient name of Caorle, meaning more or less an island inhabited by goats; however, the possibility cannot be excluded that it was the cult of the pagan goddess Capris, in force when the town was founded, that paid for its name, which is still remembered by many today.

The main feature of Caorle is undoubtedly the “Scogliera viva”, the rocks of which are sculpted and decorated with great care by artists from all over the world, great masters who come together in July to create their marvellous works. This ‘natural’ art runs all along the promenade, creating a wonderful effect against the clear sea behind it. All this is crowned by the presence of the splendid Church of the Madonna dell’Angelo, a small church that has dominated this small cultural landscape for centuries. The living cliff has therefore become the symbol of Caorle and a favourite destination for most tourists who come to the town specifically to admire such breathtaking spectacles.

Another symbolic structure of Caorle is the Cathedral of Santo Stefano.

Entering the cathedral you can immediately notice the refined Byzantine style with which it is structured. This particular art is reflected in every column and pillar, even involving the ancient vault and the large marble altar.

In addition to the well-made paintings, there are other valuable works, such as the Pala d’Oro, an antependium of six golden panels from faraway Cyprus.

Next to the cathedral stands the imposing 48-metre high bell tower, built in 1070. Built in the same style, it shows how important the Roman influence was at the time, and the bell tower is often the venue for firework displays in the summer.

Staying on the subject of Venetian beauty, how could we not mention the network of calli (narrow streets) that stretch through the historic centre of the town. In Rio Terrà, the calli and campielli almost seem to embrace the shops that stand where once there were only canals. In fact, Caorle was originally a small island criss-crossed by canals that over time were filled in (hence, for example, the name Rio Terrà, or buried canal), thus creating the space needed to build houses, structures and later a larger historic centre in step with the times. Over the centuries this centre has seen the construction of many structures, including churches and oratories, which testifies to the presence of a constant historical and cultural development over time that allows Caorle to be a much visited and popular town.

Another popular destination for tourists and Caorle’s main business is the beach. It is divided into two sides: the western and the eastern, depending on their location in the country; both sides, every year, are stormed by many holidaymakers, thanks to the inviting climate of the place that always offers a warm sun.

After the period of the Second World War, when the economy of the town, which was mainly based on fishing, suffered a serious setback, it was thanks to the beach that Caorle managed to unblock itself, achieving a considerable increase in tourism and a consequent large monetary income. The bathing area extends for over 15 km along the Adriatic coast and offers tourists, thanks to its various well-equipped hotels, an unforgettable holiday, with entertainment, comfort and various intense shows.

This metamorphosis took place around 1911 with the inauguration of the first hotel and has continued to the present day, bringing around 200 hotels, many campsites, tourist villages, excellent residences and many other tourist facilities to the Veneto coast.

To complete an already magnificent work of art there is a pleasant and very inviting sea, which according to many is the most beautiful and welcoming sea in the whole of the Veneto. Caorle can therefore boast of an immense heritage that extends to every place and every structure in its territory and that contributes to making this place a special combination of culture, charm and fun.

It therefore represents a precious and rare place to find, making it one of the first places in the north-east to visit if you want to rediscover the subtle pleasure of art.