Spending a holiday or just a weekend in Lignano, you can combine moments spent on the beach with cultural and natural excursions to the most beautiful and picturesque places in the area. You can visit the splendid lagoon of Marano as well as the most important art cities of Friuli Venezia Giulia and Veneto, such as Udine, Trieste, Aquileia, Venice, ...
These are fascinating places, full of history, culture, monuments of extraordinary beauty, all easily accessible thanks to the strategic position of Lignano.
The Marano Lagoon, enclosed between Lignano Sabbiadoro and the Grado Lagoon, offers a landscape of extraordinary beauty that houses unique fauna and flora of considerable naturalistic importance. Protected from the open sea by a series of islands and islets, such as Sant'Andrea and the Isola delle Conchiglie (Shells Island), it is characterized by marshy vegetation and by the typical fishermen's lodgings, the "casoni", built with cane and wood, which make the Lagoon di Marano one of the most interesting places in the Upper Adriatic.
There are two nature reserves in the Marano Lagoon: the Stella River Mouth Reserve that embraces the entire river delta and can only be visited by boat, and the Canal Novo Valley Reserve that covers an ex-fishery of about thirty five hectares.
Have you ever seen a working mechanically-operated lift net? In Palazzolo dello Stella, in a natural setting of rare beauty, you’ll be able to see the “Bilancia di Bepi” in action: a pile dwelling on the river with a large net (25 by 25 metres) operated by an electrical motor. Fishing for Daniele, the owner, is a family tradition: his grandfather, Bepi, fished for years with a bilancione or lift net, a fishing system which does not harm the river bed) and was a veritable institution for visitors to the Stella river, including Ernest Hemingway who particularly loved these places. Visitors can enjoy birdwatching and hire kayaks or canoes with three guided itineraries: Casoni dei Pescatori, the Descent of the Stella river, and the Isola delle Conchiglie (Shells Island).
Jewel of the Adriatic, Venice is one of the few cities in the world that can truly be described as unique. With its canals, wonderful buildings, majestic monuments, shimmering reflections, Venice is a fascinating and magical city between sea and sky, like Venus rising from the waves. While other cities have artistic treasures, Venice itself is the treasure! Over the centuries, the Venetians have become extremely skilled masters in the craftsmanship of blown glass from the famous island of Murano and of lace exported all over the world from the island of Burano. You can reach Venice by train, from Latisana railway station, or by booking one of the many boat trips available.
Aquileia, with its immense archaeological area and the patriarchal basilica, is a precious treasure trove of art and history that was inserted in 1998 in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Aquileia was one of the largest and richest cities of the Roman Empire in the Mediterranean, home to a Patriarchate, which lasted until 1751, and the driving force of Christianity throughout Central Europe during the Middle Ages. Archaeological excavations have not yet completely brought to light its ruins, but those that were found constitute to one of the best preserved testimonies of ancient Roman grandeur. Among the treasures of Aquileia, the patriarchal Basilica dating back to around 1000 represents, with its magnificent 4th century mosaics, an unmatched example of religious architecture.
Trieste is located in the extreme north-east of Italy, it is a fascinating city, a geographical but also historical and cultural crossroads, it is in fact Italy’s most cosmopolitan city that has inspired great Italian and foreign writers and poets such as James Joyce, Italo Calvino and Umberto Saba. The heart of the city is the most beautiful and symbolic of all its squares, Piazza Unità d’Italia. The buildings around it perfectly summarise Trieste’s history. However, the most spectacular side of the square is the one facing the sea, from which a pier, the Molo Audace, extends for over two hundred metres. From here, the view sweeps beyond Piazza Unità and on to the monumental palazzi and the Greek Orthodox Church of San Nicolò on the Trieste Canal Grande (Grand Canal), the centre of the neighbourhood built at the behest of Maria Theresa of Austria. The churches in this district testify to the harmonious coexistence of different religions.If you love castles and beautiful sceneries, Miramare Castle and its enchanting park as well as its museum are not to be missed. You can easily reach Trieste by train from Latisana railway station, from where a train leaves for Trieste every hour.
Heading towards the centre of Friuli, a 45-minute drive from Lignano, you can reach Udine. The city offers numerous interesting historical sites such as the Duomo, the Castle on top of the hill from which you can see the whole city and the mountains to the north, the splendid Loggia del Lionello in Gothic-Venetian style and the Loggia del San Giovanni. During the Venetian reign several beautiful squares were created such as Piazza Matteotti (or Piazza delle Erbe) and Piazza Libertà. The series of old, brightly coloured, portico-lined piazzas between Piazza Libertà, "the most beautiful Venetian piazza on the mainland" and Piazza Matteotti have all the atmosphere of an open-air sitting room, and are the very essence of the city.The fascinating city centre streets are full of fine shops and craft workshops (many of them specialising in Lombard-style gold items), historic cafes, restaurants and osterias were you can enjoy a glass of good wine all in a very human, cordial and hardworking atmosphere.
In 15 minutes by car from Udine, you can reach the enchanting city of Cividale, the ancient Forum Julii founded by Cesar, which is one of the most important centres of Lombard culture.
From Cividale it is possible to reach the Collio, a premium-quality DOC wine area in the province of Gorizia on the border with Slovenia. The Collio’s succession of rolling hills, dotted with small villages and vineyards covers a total of 1,600 hectares. The Collio produces in a great part Pinot Grigio and Bianco, Tocai Friulano, Sauvignon and the renowned Collio Bianco, the DOC’s blended wine. The leading reds are Collio Rosso, Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon, and Merlot.