Beaches, Grado the Island of Sun

The toponym derives from the Low Latin gradus, meaning “port”.

The port served the ancient Roman city of Aquileia, and was built on the coast because at the time the lagoon had not yet formed. Originally it was probably a large sandy dune, on which some activities began in Roman times and later a Castrum was built. In 1797, with the Treaty of Campo Formio, Grado passed to Austria with the rest of Friuli, except during the years the Kingdom of Italy was under French rule, during which time, in 1810, it was also sacked by the English.

It returned to Austria after the restoration, remaining so until the First World War. The Austrians brought new life to the island, opening a seaside Hospice in 1872, and a beach establishment in 1890. The inhabitants of Grado, who for the most part were fishermen, therefore went into a new line of business: beach tourism. Hoteliers from the Austrian states arrived, using their experience and capital to build hotels and B&Bs for the increasing number of tourists. Grado became one of the most elegant beach resorts in Italy.

Not everyone knows that

The “Ville Bianchi” were in fact built by a nobleman from Innsbruck, from the upper middle class of the Austro-Hungarian period, and over the period of the World Wars they became a single complex that still exists today, evidencing the forms of wealth of the small town of Grado.