25th May 2024 - FIELD TRIP

9.00 - 18.00 Field Trip "River Stella and Marano Lagoon by boat" (optional - private bus, boat trip and lunch included - the cost is 60,00 euros per person, to be paid at the same time as the registration fees)

The Marano Lagoon is the northernmost humid coast-area of the Mediterranean Sea. It belongs to the extraordinary amphibious system which characterises the Upper Adriatic Sea from the delta of the Po River to the mouth of the Isonzo River, in Friuli Venezia Giulia, not far from the border with Slovenia. It is a complex water landscape which is similar, for some aspects, to the nearby Venice lagoon. The geomorphologic evolution of the Friulian lagoon has not been influenced by considerable sedimentation processes, which have instead brought to continuous maintenance works for the defence of the city of Venice. Short rivers in the Marano Lagoon, in-fact, are only of spring origin, hence with a negligible stream capacity. Among these, the Stella River is worthy of notice: over the centuries, a scarce amount of mouth sediments (a sort of micro-archipelago) has been transformed, by local fishermen, into temporary settlements used as a support of the lagoon fishing activity.  

The purpose of the field trip is to visit some lagoon landscapes up to the mouth of the above-mentioned Stella River, together with the village of the casoni (lodgings built with cane and wood). The starting point will be the historic city centre of Marano Lagunare: its origins date back to the roman age and are closely intertwined with the city of Aquileia, the most important port located north of Rome, even during the expansion of the Roman Empire. After the latter's fall, Marano went through a discreet development thanks both to the presence of Byzantines and the foundation of the political and religious authority of the Patriarchate of Aquileia. The strategic position of Marano, along with the fortress, was much appreciated by the Government of Venice following the annexation of Friuli in 1420 during its expansion in Terraferma.

Before leaving for our boat trip, we will explore the current urbanistic structure of the lagoon village, which still bears undeniable "Venetian traces", such as its narrow "calli" and "campielli", the small lodgings which resemble the settlement model of other lagoon villages. The ancient tower is the element of most significance, a landmark easily visible by whoever navigates the flat expanse of the surrounding lagoon.

Today Marano is an important fishing port, with a considerable number of fishermen involved in deep-sea fishing, while a limited fishing activity is still practiced in the lagoon.