Veneto nature and environment

At the beginning of the 20th century an important project began which changed the area around Caorle. The greater part of the wooded area was deforested to create new agricultural areas, and certain waterways were changed and channelled into new banks, and the swamp was reclaimed. To the east of Caorle are Val Grande and Vallesina, two valleys formed in the area of approx. 600 hectares by the Tagliamento River delta. To the south is Valle Vecchia, a 700 hectare island between Caorle and Bibione. To the north of Caorle is Valle Zignago, which borders with Val Grande and is known for having been host to the famous American author Ernest Hemingway, who gained inspiration during his stay in our valleys for his famous novel “Across the River and into the Trees”.

The areas of Falconara and the Caorle lagoon are characteristic for the Casoni, typical homes for the local fishermen of the past. The first news about these buildings dates back to 200 A.D. and these rustic homes, which still conserve their antique structure and items, are still used (only as stores though and not homes) and are open to visitors. The casone contains a foghèr (fireplace) in the centre, two windows and a door, and the floor is usually rammed earth. Poor and easily procured materials were used to build them, in particular the swamp canes for the roof. Falconara was also immortalised by Hemingway in his famous novel “Across the River and into the Trees”, where the leading character was the lagoon and its immense silences.

Continuing southwest we reach Eraclea Mare with its dense pinewood and the “Laguna del Mort”, a very interesting natural oasis. On the other side of the town, divided from it by the Caorle Lagoon, is the Brussa area, the natural habitat for many species of aquatic birds and animals. To the south is the Adriatic Sea with the long beach. During the spring when it has not been overtaken by tourists, it is the ideal and almost unique site for the loggerhead sea turtles (carretta carretta) to lay their eggs. Brussa contains the Valle Vecchia lagoon oasis between the Rivers Tagliamento and Livenza. It has more than 4 km of sandy coast and a farming inland, obtained by reclaiming the previous swampy areas in the 1960s. This area is a paradise for bird-watchers and photographers, and has an interesting educational itinerary and a cycle track. The large Brussa beach with the grand sand dunes that separate it from the pinewood, is a great favourite with tourists and the local people alike during the summer.

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