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Grado

(3.3/5 based on 800+ reviews for top 10 attractions)
Things to do: historic sites, fun & games, religious sites
Grado is a town and comune in the north-eastern Italian region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia, located on an island and adjacent peninsula of the Adriatic Sea between Venice and Trieste.Once mainly a fishing center, today it is a popular tourist destination, known commonly as L'Isola del Sole ("The Sunny Island"), also famous because it is also a spa town; together with Marano Lagunare, it is the center of the Marano-Grado Lagoon, which is famous for its uncontaminated nature. Grado is the birthplace of Biagio Marin, a poet who sang about the island in the local Venetian dialect.HistoryIn Roman times the city, known as ad Aquae Gradatae, was first port for ships entering the Natissa, headed upstream to Aquileia.Quite close is the ancient Roman city of Aquileia; during the late years of the Western Roman Empire many people fled from Aquileia to Grado in order to find a safer place, more protected from the invasions coming from the east. In 452, Nicetas, Bishop of Aquileia, took refuge briefly at Grado; of the same period is the earliest construction of Grado's first cathedral, the first church of Santa Maria delle Grazie, and the baptistery. Grado was the home base of the patriarchate's fleet.
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