Here we are, back to Italy for a break from this cold and rainy Victorian winter. It is mid August and we land in Venice on a hot summer day.
On the very next day, jet lag apart, my husband and I take advantage of my in laws’ kind attitude and availability and ask them to show us around beautiful Venetian lagoon. So we take the car and drive to Caorle, a small village popular among Italians and Germans as summer destination, with its colorful houses it reminds me of Burano island.
Later in the day my father in law gets emotional explaining the structure and function of the casoni. What are the casoni? Strange and large straw constructions hidden in small islands, among the vegetation, right on the lagoon. He says his nonno used to live in one of these as they are the traditional fishermen’s houses in the lagoon of Caorle. The casoni were real houses (plain and simple) used until the postwar period by Caorle fishermen that in winter, rather than venture out to fish in the open sea, retreated in the sheltered lagoon to fish in the canals among the reeds. The fished fish was both important food for the sustenance of their families that source of trade with the hinterland. Today, the casoni have become isolated spots immersed in the nature where during summer their owner go to relax, to fish or where they organize barbecues with friends. Some casoni have retained their traditional features: the structure made of reeds, a single large room with the “fogher” a typical fireplace, a basic kitchen, just a tap with running water and sometimes electricity . Unfortunately they’re all private properties and therefore not open to public visits, we can only see them from the ouside. Still they look bizarre and interesting, like nothing I’ve ever seen.
To finish off my husband gets his chef hat on and prepares us a beautiful pasta alle vongole (pasta with clams). Enjoy the pics!
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