Caorle is one of the best known beach resorts in the whole of the Northern Adriatic. Its colours, scenery and attractions such as the cathedral and other historic landmarks have entranced tourists and visitors for decades. Among them are famous figures such as the American writer Ernest Hemingway, who loved Caorle and the lagoon so much that he had a number of long stays there.
As well as the blue sea and golden sands that are so popular with tourists from Italy and across the globe, Caorle has rich inland areas that are just waiting to be explored. Getting to know these places is an enchanting experience that can add a special touch to your holidays.
We’d like to recommend a trip to the spellbinding Isola dei Pescatori in Caorle. The name means “Fishermen’s Island” and you can get there on foot or by bike. It’s a place where time seems to stand still and the wild, natural environment that lies between the sky and the sea remains unspoilt.
Isola dei Pescatori in Caorle: history and origins
Caorle has a very long history that stretches all of the way back to the time of the Roman Empire. During the Late Middle Ages it reached such heights that it was even more prosperous than Venice.
Hundreds of years have gone by, but Caorle is still steeped in the old-fashioned charms of a typical fishing village and that’s why numerous visitors continue to fall in love with it today.
Meanwhile, its geography has undergone substantial changes over the years due to the sediment carried down by the rivers, which has pushed the coastline forward significantly and covered huge expanses of the once vast lagoon.
For centuries, the town’s main source of subsistence was fishing in the sea and the lagoon. It continues to have an important role, but the tourism industry is now the biggest driving force behind Caorle’s economy. It first began to take shape in the 1960s and there are now numerous hotels and related businesses in the resort.
Fishing in the lagoon required great expertise and knowledge of the depths, channels and sandbanks, not to mention the tides. Consequently, the fishermen who worked in these waters would spend a very long time there, ranging from whole days to a number of months.
This meant that it was necessary to have somewhere in the heart of the lagoon where they could rest and find shelter for themselves and their boats, which is why the famous huts known as “casoni” were built.
The “Casoni” in Caorle
The “Casoni” by the lagoon in Caorle are similar but not identical to those that can be found inland from the coast everywhere from Comacchio to Gorizia. They have very distinctive architecture.
The floor plan usually had a rectangular or oval shape (the latter kept the heat inside better) and they were “conical” structures with brick walls. Inside, they would have:
- – A central fireplace on which they would cook food, mostly grilled fish
- – A folding bed for sleeping, along with a table and chairs for eating and other activities
- – Various pieces of fishing equipment
- – Large saucepans and frying pans for cooking hearty pasta dishes
The “Casoni” had sloping conical roofs covered with layers of dried reeds. They kept out water exceptionally well for two reasons. On the outside, the sloping layers of reeds guided it towards the ground. On the inside, there was no chimney so the smoke from the fire permeated the reeds, making them even more compact and water repellent.
In addition, the smoke that adhered to the inside of the buildings helped to give them the typical “casone” smell. It’s an instantly recognizable blend of smoke, salt and good food that you won’t find anywhere else in the world.
Some “Casoni” have been converted into restaurants or museums, but some of them are still private property. If you’re lucky, you might see the owners nearby. They might even be happy to show you around and tell you about their adventures in the lagoon.
If you get to know the owners of a “casone”, they might be prepared to cook a meal using their latest catch. Rather than a set menu, they’ll serve up whatever they caught in the sea or the lagoon that day. You can rest assured that it’ll be unforgettably exquisite! Some owners leave their phone numbers on signs outside their “casoni” so that they can organize meals of this kind.
A walk in Isola dei Pescatori: the route
The best way to visit Isola dei Pescatori is definitely walking or cycling, partly because the route isn’t open to motor vehicles. Nonetheless, you can approach the area by car or boat from the northern lagoon. Isola dei Pescatori is in the northern part of Caorle, inland from Levante beach. It looks out over the Falconera reserve, the lagoon and the fishing grounds.
You can approach the “Casoni” area from either Corso Chiggiato or Via dei Cacciatori. Park your car at the end of the road and then explore the island and its “casoni” by following the 8 km circular route on foot or by bike.
You can reach the island by following the route for cars that’s described above. Cycling is probably the best way to visit the island. If you didn’t bring your own bike with you, there are a number of places where you can hire one in Caorle.
If you hire a boat or you have one of your own, you can travel down the Nicesolo River to Isola dei Pescatori, moor it on the bank and then proceed on foot.
You can also catch a ferry from Vallevecchia to Isola dei Pescatori.
Practical information: what you need to know
The Isola dei Pescatori “casoni” path is easily accessible, so it’s suitable for everyone, whether you’re on foot or on wheels. Well-made wooden boardwalks ensure that the route can be followed all year round.
If you’d also like to take a look inside the “casoni”, the best time to visit is between late spring and early autumn, but remember that you should avoid the hottest times in the middle of the day if you go there with children in the summer.
If you prefer crisp, sunny winter days, you can follow the circular route because it’s always open, but the “casoni” will be closed at that time of year. If the weather’s nice and you have time once you’ve been around the route, why not look around Caorle town centre? You could visit the Sanctuary of the Madonna dell’Angelo and the Living Rocks, grab yourself a cone from one of the many amazing artisan ice cream parlours or have a drink in a bar.
What to bring when you visit Isola dei Pescatori
- A bottle of water
- A cap or hat and comfortable clothes
- Sun cream
- Comfortable walking shoes
- Insect repellent
- A camera or phone so you can take lots of stunning photos
Did you find this information useful?
If you’re planning a summer holiday in Caorle (Link to facilities in Caorle) and you’d like to know more about what the local area has to offer, please don’t hesitate to get in touch by calling +39 0421 84059 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our staff will be happy to help you to decide what’s best for you and give you all the information you need to make the most of your stay!