San Gaetano, Concordia Sagittaria and Portogruaro
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What are the most beautiful places to visit starting from the San Francesco Village in Caorle? If we move a few dozen kilometres from Caorle, we will reach San Gaetano, Concordia Sagittaria and Portogruaro.
An itinerary between history and ancient traditions
This is an itinerary of about 30 kilometres out and 30 kilometres back. You can visit an important and almost uninhabited rural village, as well as the two historical towns of Concordia Sagittaria and Portogruaro. You can either move around by bicycle, although the cycle paths do not fully meet the needs of a prudent cyclist, or by car.
First stop: San Gaetano
You leave Caorle by taking the Provincial Road no. 59, in the direction of the motorway, but after just three kilometres and after crossing a bridge over a branch of the Livenza River, you turn immediately right and, after another three kilometres, you will arrive in San Gaetano.
The village today is barely inhabited, but once had a population of over a thousand people, all working in the fields. Already in the early 1900s, there was a telegraph, a cinema and a doctor’s surgery here; the village was created by Baron Franchetti, a descendant of a rich Italian landowning dynasty, who had married Luisa Sara Rothschild in Vienna in 1858.
With their large fortune, the couple bought the land and reclaimed it with large-scale irrigation works. In San Gaetano you can now see the ruins of the large mansion; you can admire the swing bridge over the Lemene River, one of the first engineering works of this kind in an area that suffered from the poor quality of the few existing roads.
You can enjoy a bit of sailing at sea and enter the city from the inlets called “Bocche di Porto“ of San Nicolò, which has become famous for the construction of the gigantic concrete structure known as the “Mose” to safeguard the city from high tides.
Towards Concordia Sagittaria
Leaving the village, you can continue for a first stretch on roads that are not exactly easy, until you join Provincial Road 42, which takes you to Concordia Sagittaria.
Before arriving there, the route follows the Lemene River for a few kilometres, the navigable artery that over two thousand years ago was considered of high strategic value by the Romans. In fact, the name of this town derives from ‘sagitta’, from the Latin arrow, and there used to be a Roman arrow factory here.
The city was situated at the crossroads of the Via Annia and the Via Postumia and here you can feel the Roman character of the place.
Worth visiting is the Municipal Palace (in Renaissance style), where you can admire some funeral urns, vases and remains of flooring; also important is the early Christian complex next to the Romanesque Cathedral, built around the year 1000: a true open-air museum.
Portogruaro and the beauty of its places
Just three kilometres away stands Portogruaro, which is also connected to Concordia by a beautiful cycle path. If you go on Thursday mornings, you can visit the market, one of the oldest and most characteristic in the region.
The city deserves a visit for the beauty of its places. It is crossed by the Lemene River, with the two main streets running parallel to it, Corso Martiri della Libertà and Via Cavour, full of buildings that recall the ancient Venetian character of the area. Numerous shops, bars and characteristic corners can be found under its arcades.
The most admired spot is perhaps the old mills, a corner of paradise, just a few metres from the bell tower, which hangs down (as do almost all the bell towers built in the lagoon area) but this one in a worrying way.
A useful tip: always travel with a small map in your pocket and news about the places you visit, perhaps collected on the many websites available.
Authore: Gianni Prevarin
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