Gradus means a port and was the first port of call for the ships that sailed the Adriatic to go up the Natissa River towards Aquileia, the most important city in the Eastern Roman territory and headquarters of the X Regio Venetia et Istria. With the Barbarian invasions it became an established residence and inhabited centre for the inland population seeking to flee from Attila’s hordes (AD 452). From Grado the founders of the nearby city of Venice also departed. In 568 in the face of the Longobard invasion the Archbishop of Aquileia transferred his headquarters there. The Patriarch Elia completed the building of the Duomo and embellished the small village with religious buildings strengthening the patriarchal cathedral and the importance of Grado. With the Schism of the Three Capitals – that ended only in 1180 – the rivalry between the two cities increased with the canonical proclamation of the Patriarchate of Grado. Grado found itself to be the religious capital of an area that stretched from Istria to Chioggia and underwent great financial, commercial and artistic development. Until 1451 it was in fact a metropolis and mother of all the coastal churches, including therein Venice on whose structure it exercised a steady and lengthy influence. But the suppression of the Patriarchate in the same century and the alwaysgreater power of Venice caused Grado to lose its central position in the Venetian lagoons. It became a small fishing village that survived for centuries in almost total isolation. After the Treaty of Campoformido in 1797 Grado passed to Austria and, except for a brief interlude of French occupation, in 1918 was returned to Italy. During the course of the 19th century the town started its economic revival in the guise of an important tourist and holiday location. In 1892 it became an official health treatment resort of the Hapsburg Empire.
How to reach Grado
From Grado you can reach Palmanova, Trieste, Udine, Cividale del Friuli and Gorizia.
A4 Venice-Trieste and A23 Tarvisio-Udine
Motorway exit at Palmanova (28 Km from Grado)
Cervignano del Friuli (16 Km from Grado)
Udine (45 Km from Grado)
Call center 89 20 21
Trieste, Ronchi dei Legionari (18 Km from Grado)
Tel. +39 0481 773224 – 773225
Fax +39 0481 474150