In Caorle there are still many evidences of the lagoon fishing: on the banks of the river Nicesolo it is possible to admire the ancient and characteristic houses belonging to the lagoon fishermen.
Once the casoni were home and shelter for farmers, fishermen and hunters from Veneto. They can be recognized from afar by their sloping roofs made of straw and reeds, and they stand where water and land merge along the misty outlines of the lowlands, over the sandbanks of the inland lagoons, inside the marshy clearings. The original paleo-historic structure has been maintained for centuries and centuries, even if today it is possible to notice variations due to the diversity of the accessory functions and the quality of the building materials available on site: wood, straw, sedge and clay.
Almost completely erased from the urban territory, only a few casoni remain in the lagoons and in the fishing valleys of the Eastern Veneto, which despite the reclamation have managed to preserve this fragile typicality of the Upper Adriatic.
The casone of the lagoon or valley, located on the edge of canals, rivers or on isolated mote (sope) whose ancient construction technique anticipates the principles of the Venetian foundations, was, at the same time, a permanent or seasonal dwelling, depending on the era and, even today, a place of identity for the local population.
A memorable experience is to reach the casoni by boat to draw the most authentic profile of ancient lagoon landscapes with walls of sedges up to the lapping water and the sharp pyramids of the casoni with inextricable roots tied to the reeds. You can start from the Port of Falconera: from the water you can enjoy all the density of the landscape full of colors and salty smells to the point that, coming from the canal or from the lagoon, the landing at a casone is the arrival at the permanent port. The sobriety and essentiality of the widening on which the casone stands becomes an island of safety, a vision full of unusual hospitality, almost a refuge. Of course, living in a cason was always hard work, often hunger and discomfort, but also the possibility of survival, the security of seasonal rhythms, wisdom in using the goods of nature.
The casone is a way of going through canals, valleys and lagoon mirrors, it is the way of going in the past and the arrival represents the astonishment and the wonder that only the authentically simple things, and for this reason precious, preserve. The journey between water and land, also offers the opportunity to enjoy the different landscapes that surround the territory: the historic core of the city of Caorle, a fishing village passed from the proto-history of the ancient Veneti to the industry of a seaside tourism particularly attentive to the quality of the environment; the nearby Concordia Sagittaria that documents the attendance of the Romans; the testimony of the austere power of the Patriarchates; the domain of the Serenissima; the fascinating woods of Brussa and the ancient pinede of the right side of the Tagliamento.
The charm of the lagoon and the uncertain world of the marsh, has also fascinated Ernest Hemingway during his hunting trips, as well as the writer Pier Paolo Pasolini, who visited Caorle.
How to build a casone caorlotto? There are no rigid standard dimensions but only fixed proportions with a minimum and a maximum to be respected depending on the need for use and the place where the house is located. The longitudinal axis of the casone is usually arranged with the breech to the north and the opening to the south, while the two sides of the casone are facing West, North-West or East South-East. Among the construction materials we see poles and ribs for the supporting structure and swamp cane for the roof, rammed earth or brick floor and brick hearth. The layers of cane of the roof are arranged with the flower down and surmounted at the top by the next upper layer, there are no flues and chimneys extreme protruding from the roof, nor side windows or dormers or masonry walls. The fencing is made with local materials and the surrounding grove has exotic species now naturalized as black locust, tamarisk, fig and trees in general, and other typical species such as poplar, willow.
Our advice? Take a walk to the Isola dei Pescatori (Fishermen’s Island), look for the fishermen and let them tell you the story of life in the casone: it will be an interesting experience.