The name Grado (gradus = harbour) shows the original function of this town which was established for the Beet of Aquileia, ancient capital of Istria and the region. The refugees kom Aquileia escaping from the invasions came to this town which was also seat of the Patriarchs. This period was the most flourishing and is witnessed by many gonuments. After having been destroyed and sacked many times, it lost its importan-ce and became subjected to Venice. It fell down to the condition of a fishermen's village. The historical centre dates to this peribd and tourists can admire its original buildings inserted into a pattern of alleys and small squares typical of the Venetian sea towns. The dwelling area was and still is surrounded by a lagoon where fishermen build their stray-covered houses (called "casoni") some of which can be seen. The lagoon has an own charm: it is a real silent and calm oasis floating between the blue sky and sea with colours fading in nuances, facing fach other separated by sandbanks and small islands where rare birds live.
The Adriatic sea is mainly swept by two winds: the Bora blowing from north-east, cool and dry , and the Sirocco blowing from south-east, warm and wet. The possibility to orientate the navigation in both directions consented in ancient times the development of the sea connections. Julius Caesar’s ships maintained communications with the legions in Aquileia using the changes of the wind. The isle of Grado was the first port for these ancient navigators who coming from the isle used to sail up the lagoon and then the river Natissa till Aquileia. Grado was already famous and Venice didn’t exist yet.
The rest of the history, that of the Patriarchs, of Venice daughter-town of Grado, of the Habsburgs, of Middle-Europe, you can come and discover yourselves here, on this wonderful isle born from the winds Bora and Scirocco.