Caorle - Venetian charm and romantic beaches
"The Adriatic never sleeps"
The decision to make the 4 (5 and a half) hour drive from Salzburg to Caorle was made at 6pm. After throwing our essentials into a suitcase and filling the tank, we were on our way. All we knew was that Caorle has a beach, a camping ground, a possibly a few hotels. Our expectations were low, but hopes high. We were prepared to arrive past midnight in a sleepy Italian village, with reception desks closed. It wouldn't be our first time sleeping on an Italian beach.
After following in Hannibal's footsteps (albeit with excessive autobahn fees), we arrived in Caorle to find a beach stretching at least one kilometre, lit by the full moon and protected by a legion of art-deco hotel facades. With a wide selection of 2-4 star hotels, and the reminder that Italian holiday villages don't sleep early, we were spoiled for choice. Three lessons in Italian sign language later and we were taking in the fresh ocean breeze from our very own Balcony. Bella Italia!
"A modern-day Hapsburg retreat"
Most of the northern Adriatic coast is populated by vacationing Austrians and Germans during the summer months. Caorle is no exception. I often wondered if the Hapsburg Empire had really ceased to exist, or had merely transformed their beurocracy into a series of travel agents and hotel porters across Central Europe.
Our brief three-day visit was an excercise in Italian sign-language and broken German. It was somewhat refreshing to vacation in Italy without the usual hoards of American and British tourists.
"Gelati and the leaning tower of Caorle"
Caorle is a more family-oriented town, but offers plenty for the odd romantic couple. The beach front is framed along its rear edge by a series of colorful hotels. Following the road between the hotels and beach brings you right into a medieval Venetian village, defined by it's own leaning church tower and narrow passageways. Countless (literally) Gelati shops, seafood and pasta restaurants ensure culinary satisfaction.
As most Italian towns do, Caorle sleeps from just after noon until about 6pm. Lazy days consist of a Hotel breakfest with a view of the ocean followed by a morning swim and walk along the beach. A slow, glutunous lunch of pasta, pizza or seafood at noon. A few hours dozing, reading or exploring the town by bike allow you tank up for a typical Italian summer evening. Dinner starts at 6 and runs until you can't afford to order anything else. Following dinner, it's time for a heaping portion of Gelati with any assortment of rainbow colored fruits and toppings to take with you while paroosing the many fashion and specialty stores. As the crowded streets slowly start to thin after midnight, then a bottle of wine and the cool beach sand are the best way to bid a perfect day farewell.