5 reasons to discover Lignano Sabbiadoro out of season at the slow pace of nature
There is a place that a famous writer loved to call the "Florida of Italy", where it is easy to get excited by admiring the shades of colors and enjoying the beauty that nature offers, even out of season. The author was Ernest Hemingway who was referring to the coast of Lignano Sabbiadoro, where he stopped in the 1950s. A strip of land, bathed by three different types of water: the marine one of the Adriatic Sea to the south; the brackish lagoon of Marano to the north; and the fresh water of the Tagliamento River to the west, with its spectacular estuary.
A fertile exchange and an uninterrupted dialogue, between land and water in its various compositions, which have given life over the centuries to a luxuriant nature and lively traditions of ancient peoples, all to be discovered: from a rich and flourishing flora and fauna to the enchanting nuances of reflections on the water, from gastronomic specialties to the old fishermen's houses.
1. ALL THE COLORS OF DAWN
To better discover the beauties of this landscape, you need to start from the colors of dawn near the sea of Lignano Sabbiadoro. For early risers, the suggested route is the one that connects the sea to the lagoon, starting from the Red Lighthouse, which has always been a point of reference for sailors: right here, every morning, the sun rises, embracing and warming the panorama with the first light souls.
The cycle-pedestrian route begins in the areas of Villa Zuzzi, a historic Art Nouveau building, skirting the golden sand and perhaps strolling along the coast with a few seagulls. For the more sporty, there is an area equipped for fitness overlooking the sea, but the panoramic benches to enjoy the salty air are a valid alternative for everyone. The route ends at Office 19, where the seafront merges with the pine forest and the scents of nature.
2. THE CASONI: THE FISHERMEN'S HOUSE ON THE WATER
From Lignano it takes just a few minutes by boat to dive into the past, landing on the shores of Marano Lagunare, an authentic land of fishermen. In the port you will notice the Batele, typical lagoon fishing boats, 4 meters long and with a flat bottom, designed to navigate in waters with a shallow bottom.
The real "stars" in these parts, however, are the Casoni, simple constructions similar to huts on stilts, built using local materials, such as marsh reeds, capable of making water slide, sheltering the interior from the rain. In the only room available, the fishermen rested and warmed themselves by the fire until dawn the following day.
Right around the fireplace of the Casoni, in March it will be possible to live a unique experience, trying Taoist meditation to harmonize heart and mind and synchronize them with the rhythm of nature, slow as the lagoon waters. Not only that: it will also be an opportunity to taste aperitifs with typical traditional specialities.
3. BIRDWATCHING PARADISE
To give life and color to this precious ecosystem, there are also swans, herons, birds of prey, flamingos and many other bird species, which are over 300 here.
Many possible sightings for birdwatchers or even for the simply curious. From the purple heron, which reproduces among the reed beds of the Stella River delta, to the marsh harrier, which in this area boasts one of the highest concentrations in all of Italy, and various passerines, including the whisker, the wicker, the reed warbler and the warbler. In the surrounding lagoon inlets, on the other hand, it is not uncommon to spot whole flocks of aquatic birds that aggregate during the winter season, among which coots and ducks such as gadwall, teal, shoveler, pochard, tufted duck and the four-eyed.
4. THE "FRIULI WETLAND" AND THE NATURAL RESERVES
One of the reasons why these places are worth exploring is certainly the Valle Canal Novo reserve: visiting it will be like being in an English New Wetland, pristine nature reserves located in south-west London. Less traveled than in other protected areas, in Valle Canal Novo wild nature shows itself in all its charm and can be admired along wooden walkways on the water's edge. An enchanting experience with a delicate charm, to be experienced even in winter to follow the slow, almost dormant rhythm of nature.
Then there is also the protected area of Valle Grotari, a former fishing channel that rises at the foot of Marano, which has returned to nature after the interruption of fishing activity. Today here it is possible to take long walks and admire the large reeds coming from the only lagoon path reachable from the center of Marano.
5. A SEA OF FLAVORS
Food and wine is another spearhead of this area. Among the typical dishes of the lagoon there are specialties based on fish and shellfish, such as Maranese fish soup, a tomato soup served with croutons, to be enjoyed especially in winter. Prepared by fishermen who lived in the huts, it is cooked with simple products such as extra virgin olive oil, garlic, salt and black pepper to enhance the flavor of the local fish. Also not to be missed are the Sievoli sotto sal, mullet preserved in salt, and the Bisato in speo, a dish based on skewered eel prepared slowly over the grill, accompanied by a Merlot or the local red wine Il Refosco del Peduncolo Rosso. For those wishing to taste these typical dishes, a must is the Festa delle Cape in Lignano Pineta in the first two weekends of March: from Saturday 4 to Sunday 5 March and from Saturday 11 to Sunday 12 March. It is a historic food and wine event born from the idea of local fishermen to let tourists know and taste the fish specialties of the upper Adriatic.