The Marano lagoon
The Marano lagoon is fed almost exclusively by resurgence rivers (Stella, Turgnano, Cormor, Zellina, Corno, Ausa, Natissa, Tiel), extends for 7,300 hectares, while the Grado lagoon, more brackish due to the almost non-existent contribution of watercourses, covers an area of 8,800 hectares. Overall, the lagoon area extends for about 16,000 hectares, of which nearly 2,400 of land.
Finally, the landscape and naturalistic richness is testified by the presence, within the lagoon belt, of three regional nature reserves: the Foci dello Stella nature reserve, the Valle Cavanata nature reserve, the Isonzo mouth nature reserve (Isola della Cona). The first, formerly known as the Marano Lagunare birdlife oasis, occupies an area of 1,377 hectares and in fact covers the entire delta surface of the river Stella: it was declared in 1976 "Oasis of wildlife refuge", in 1979 "Valuable wetland international according to the Ramsar Convention”, constitutes an“ Environmental protection area”for the Friuli-Venezia Giulia Region.
The Marano Lagoon has been populated since very ancient times, as evidenced by several findings dating back to Roman times. An ancient citadel that rises at the internal limits of the lagoon, in the past surrounded by swamps and forests, Marano was for centuries a much sought-after stronghold of the Republic of Venice in Friuli. An ancient fortress on the lagoon, Marano is still today a hard-working and lively fishing community set in the splendid lagoon setting, where local traditions are still linked to the maritime culture of Venice and not to the Friulian culture of agricultural roots.
Extraordinary territory between the mainland and the sea, the lagoon of Marano represents,together with that of Grado, the northernmost lagoon area of the Adriatic. A wonderful basin of brackish water located between the Friuli plain and the Adriatic Sea, formed in the last millennia following the slow but continuous rise in sea level and the considerable terrigenous fluvial deposits. Superb chrysalis of biological energies, this incredible and delicate wetland is now recognized as one of the most important and valuable natural areas in the Mediterranean.