Caorle is not only known for its famous beaches but also because it has an old and picturesque city centre that is full of fascinating civic buildings and exquisite places of worship.
The Duomo di Santo Stefano in Piazza Vescovado is located in the heart of the city and was built in 1038 on the remains of an earlier church erected during the 8th century, the Chiesa delle Grazie. Inside it houses valuable sculptures, paintings and frescoes which include the famous Pala d'Oro (Golden Altarpiece) a retable placed at the back of the High Altar. The retable is a Byzantine style work of art that dates back to the 13th-14th century and which according to legend was given to the cathedral by Caterina Cornaro, Queen of Cyprus.
The architectural style of the building is a combination of Romanesque and traditional Venetian lagoon style whereas the splendid bell tower situated just a few metres away is the only example in the local Veneto area that blends Romanesque and Byzantine elements together. The symbol of Caorle is carved on the bell tower in an imposing fashion at a height of 48 metres and decorated with columns and arches influenced by the architectural style favoured in Ravenna. One can go up to the top of the bell tower thanks to a spiral staircase and enjoy a wonderful view over the beaches and surrounding countryside.
By following the seafront to the left, you can catch a glimpse of the Santuario della Madonna dell'Angelo, protector of the fishermen, commonly known as the Chiesa della Madonnina (Church of the Madonna) which rises up on the far east side of Caorle’s seawall. It was erected in the 6th century by the inhabitants of Concordia who had fled from barbarian invasions and is probably the oldest church in the city.
Little VeniceA stroll in the heart of Caorle is enough to understand why all over the world we are also known as "Little Venice". With its calli (narrow streets) and campielli (little squares), the old town centre is an open-air living room, such as the beautiful Piazza Vescovado with its traditional Venetian trachyte paving.