A day in Grado

The town of Grado is a 40 minute bus ride through fields of grain from the town of Monfalcone, where I am staying with my Italian relatives. As the bus gets close to Grado, you notice swampy marshes, a distant church on what appears to be an island and canals lined with moored boats. It makes me think of how close we are to Venezia, which is only under 100km further along the Adriatic coast but how completely different Grado is. The bridge that joined Grado to mainland Italy was built in 1936 and prior to that, it was a boat trip away.

20120716-104600.jpg

Although Grado is known as a beach resort with hundreds of predominantly German tourists making their way south for the summer, the old Medieval quarter of the town is quite beautiful. It is small but has many calle (streets) like there are in Venezia. In addition there is Byzantine church, Sant’Eufemia with lovely mosaics and the Lapidario di Grado, which houses many relics and fragments from Roman times.

20120716-111355.jpg

20120717-083930.jpg

20120716-105242.jpg

We stopped for lunch to taste some local fish at Trattoria Vittoria in the old quarter and had a lovely meal including sarde in saor and seppie in umido con polenta bianca for entree. I make sardines in the same way (fried then layered with onions that have been cooked with olive oil and vinegar and rested at least 24 hours to allow the flavours to infuse) but these were sweeter with a hint of acidic tang. I will definitely try to change my recipe to incorporate the flavours I tasted.

20120716-103353.jpg

For mains we shared a grilled fish platter of scampi and seppie (cuttlefish) plus grilled local fish Asia’. The grilled seppie were very tender and the Asia’ melted in your mouth – I had never tried this local fish before and it was delicious.

20120716-111905.jpg

20120716-103325.jpg

20120716-112619.jpg

After lunch we took a walk to try to find the Gelateria where I had eaten peach and basil gelato on my last visit to Grado in 2006. Providence was clearly on my side as I found it and happily enjoyed a large cone of it whilst strolling along the promenade near the beach – which was the perfect end to a lovely day before catching the bus back to Monfalcone.

20120716-104438.jpg

And of course we had enjoyed the beach before lunch, which is what attracts most of the crowds to Grado. I loved walking along one of the many piers that jut out into the Adriatic sea. I looked across towards Venezia on my right and towards our next stop, Istria on my left.

20120717-085522.jpg

5 comments on “A day in Grado

  1. This post makes so happy! I’ve been going to Grado every summer since I can remember, in fact I was there last month! In the days you were there, my parents were there visiting my grandma, who spends every summer in Grado! I love the place, it’s the only place where I can relax and rest!
    And eat the best gelato in the world!! 😉

    Like

  2. I loved the Medieval quarter in Grado, it is indeed a beautiful place. In fact, all of the towns and villages in that part of Firuli are gorgeous. My father came from Gorizia wich is (in Aussie terms at least) only a stone’s throw away to the North. Il Castello di Gorizia is a fabulous Medieval castle but my favourite place in that part of Friuli without any doubt was Palmanova. Built in the shape of a 9 pointed star surrounded by a ditch and high walls, this town was an impenetrable fortress when it was built in the 16th century. Worth a trip if you have the time. While you’re in that part of the woods, you can skip over to San Danielle and have some of the most mouthwatering prosciutto ever!
    As dad used to say “Salute,amore, schei e tenpo par gòdarli”.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s