Oh, The Places You’ll Go: Discovering Marano Lagunare

Photo credits promoturismo FVG
Reading Time: 3 minutes

by InTrieste

Fall is the perfect season for day trips & weekend getaways! Luckily, Friuli Venezia-Giulia is the prefect place for endless discoveries.

Marano Lagunare is a characteristic seaside village in our beautiful region of Friuli Venezia-Giulia which for almost 400 years was part of the Republic of Venice.

The period of Venetian domination has strongly characterized the town planning (in Marano you walk through calli, as in Venice, not streets) and the dialect spoken on the streets, unlike the surrounding areas, is Venetian. Similarly, the symbiosis with the landscape surrounding Marano Lagoon has influenced the economy (still based on fishing today) and the gastronomy (typically fish-based).

A day trip to Marano Lagunare offers visitors an immersion in culture and history, relaxing glimpses of Nature together with mouth-watering food and wine experiences.

Photo credits promoturismo FVG

While in Marano Lagunare, you should:

Visit the Regional Nature Reserve of Valle Canal Novo

The Valle Canal Novo nature reserve is a 121 hectare protected natural area, consisting of former fish-rearing ponds, from which takes its name, together with a lagoon area – the “Corniolo” – and some arable land. It represents a complex natural ecosystem, including wetland environments and waters with varying degrees of salinity.

The reserve includes paths along wooden walkways immersed in Nature (modeled on the Anglo-Saxon “Wetlands Centers”), buildings serving food and teaching areas, some of which have been built in the style of the traditional typology of the local lagoon huts, the casoni.

Inside the Reserve it is also possible to visit the Lagoon Aquarium and to get to know the main lagoon habitats more closely.

Visit the Archeological Museum of the Lagoon

In the Archeological Museum of the Marano Lagoon you can undertake a journey to discover the millennial history of the oldest lagoon in the Region.

Over five hundred artifacts from various eras, coming from the town’s historic center, from the coastal areas, from submerged sites and from the islands of the lagoon, and the seabed just offshore. The collection, also described using multimedia support, testifies to the area’s economic and strategic importance derived from its natural position, “suspended” between land and sea, and its role as the crossroads for people and goods.

Photo credits promoturismo FVG

Wandering through the streets of the historic center

The town of Marano stands on the site of an ancient fortress, the first bulwark of the Patriarchate of Aquileia and then for many centuries under the control of Venice. The historic center preserves the memory of this in its urban layout which, in its supporting structures, has remained identical.

Getting lost in the narrow calli you can admire the remains of the ancient walls, the thousand-year-old tower overlooking the town piazza and the Church of San Martino (which is worth a visit to observe the precious Venetian organ and the stained glass windows, linked to the religious history of Marano).

Admire the Pescaria Vecia 

The “Vecia Pescaria (the old fish market) deserves a special mention as a historic place that embodies the maritime essence of Marano Lagunare.

In 1892 Mayor Rinaldo Olivotto boasted of having built “a beautiful fish market with 8 warehouses, capable of containing all the fish that the lagoon can provide” on the port dockside. Since its inauguration the old fish market has been the driving force of the town. It continued to function until the 1990s, when, after many years, a new one was built.

Today the vecia pescaria has been restored and converted into a meeting space (the San Vito festival takes place here in June and the Fish Festival in mid-August), but it remains one of those places not to be missed during any visit to Marano Lagunare.

Taste the cuisine of Marano

For lovers of good food, a visit to Marano Lagunare has to include a close encounter with its seafood cuisine consisting of traditional dishes, naturally fish-based.

Just choose one of the countless restaurants that dot the historic center or that line the dockside and choose a traditional fish soup, a mixed fry from the lagoon and perhaps with some canocia (mantis-shriimp), or a grilled fresh fish. But if you want to try Maranese dishes, then fish soup, moleche (crab, when in season) or bisato in speò (eel) are what you are looking for.

The easiest way to get to Marano Lagunare from Trieste is by car, which takes about 1 hour. Another option is taking the train from Trieste to St Giorgio di Nogaro and then taking the bus to Marano Lagunare. Whatever you decide, you’ll be in for a day of endless discoveries.

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