The name Eraclea was mentioned for the first time in an official document in a papal bull, precisely that of Pope Severino in 640, through which two new dioceses were founded: Torcello and Eraclea. The origins of this centre's history date from much earlier.
About the middle of the 7th century Eraclea was the biggest town of the estuary and had important business and diplomatic relations both with the Byzantine and the Longobard Court of Pavia.
Under the Venice government, Eraclea lived an age of splendour. Memorable was the reconquest of the city of Ravenna, under the leadership of the Doge Orso Partecipazio.
Eraclea Mare, a peaceful stretch of sand
Between the dunes and the pinewood, the rays of the sun arrive milder and temperated by the shade, and the noise from the surrounding world is muffled. Eraclea beach looks like a stolen corner of Paradise, a sea and nature oasis, where you can relax, plunged in the most luxuriant gardens.
Eraclea Mare is the ideal place for a family holiday, where you can be cuddled by the soft sound of the sea waves and play with the kids on a not crowded beach.
There is a piece of Byzanthium in the heart of the Venetian Lagoon, of which every vestige has disappeared during the time, but it was right in Eraclea that in the Vth century A.D. an important merchant and trade town flourished. It sounds curios but this stretch of land, which earliest name was Melidissa, has always based its fortune on being a perfect shelter and protection site.
After the downfall of the Roman Empire because of the Barbarian Invasions, most people flew the towns of Opitergium, Altinuum, Julia-Concordia and Aquileja, and took shelter on the island of Melidissa. Even the Byzantine government moved from the powerful Opitergium (today Oderzo) to the island, and in 638, the bishop San Magno settled there together with the most powerful families of the town. The foundation of the town is due to those important dynasties , and it later took the name of Heraclia, in honour of the East Emperor Eraclio, who had prevented the expansion of the Longobards in the Venetian Lagoon. Thas was the period of higher splendour for the town, which also became the birthplace of the first Doge in the history of Venice.
The archaeologic finds exhibited in many museums of the province reveal something of the history of a period characterized by the hard and fierce battles for supremacy against the neighbouring 'Equilio' (today Jesolo). Many centuries later, the attempts to alter of the course of the rivers -above all of the Piave - caused a significant change in the environment.
The decline of the Empire thus began with the neglect of the territory and the extending of the marshes.Only in the middle of the 19th century, Eraclea, which had almost disappeared leaving the place to the little fishing-village of Grisolera, began living again thanks to the important reclamation works.
The territory, surrounded by three different kinds of water - that of the sea, that of the river and that of the beautiful Mort Lagoon - began this way to look more and more like it is today. Thanks to the successful decision of keeping intact the natural coast wood - mostly made of alders, white poplars and hawthorns - Eraclea, with its magic atmosphere, eventually became 'the green pearl of Adriatic'.
Eraclea is, in fact, a true natural refuge, today structured to allow the union between man and environment, thanks to itineraries and paths conceived for the discovery and enjoyment of the secrets of the area.
After more than a thousand years, Eraclea has come back to its earliest vocation of 'welcome island'. Today, the dunes, which characterize the coast, meet with the pinewood, and the primary colours - that of the sea, of the plants and of the sand - are all rejoining in this stretch of the Venetian lagoon, which has a long and worth-recounting history behind itself.