Grado is a seaside resort town on an island along Italy’s Adriatic coast between Venice and Trieste. Once the port city through which nearby Acquiieia traded with Syria and Asia, Grado enjoyed its heyday under Austrian rule when it was developed as a spa town. Today, Grado’s population is just 9000 but its reputation as a tourist destination lives on, hence Grado’s designation as L’Isola del Sole: ”The Sunny Island.”
Though its beaches aren’t the best on the Adriatic, Grado also boasts a historic medieval city center which forbids car traffic. The town’s duomo, Basilica di Sant’Eufemia, which dates to the 6th century, is the most impressive attraction. It sits in the postcard-ready piazza Campo dei Patriarchi in the historic center of Grado.
The town gets its name— which translates directly to “degree”— from the slow slope of its shoreline. Grado starts to bloom during April and May when the sand starts to warm and tourists may wander the belle époque mansions along the narrow streets of the historic city center.