|The ancient name of the city was
Caprulae (possibly because of the wild goats that grazed in this
area, or in honour of pagan goddess Capris); Caorle was
founded in the 1st century BC, as a Roman bench mark.
Many archeological findings confirm that; for istance the
sacrificial altar called "Ara Licovia" (from Licovi's Roman
family), today kept in the cathedral.
Caorle gained importance when people from Concordia Sagittaria
looked for a refuge because of the barbarian invasions.
In that period, the Paleo-Christian church was built, some
remains of which are today kept in the cathedral museum. In the
11th century the current cathedral was built, the see of many
During the following centuries, Caorle became one of the
nine important cities of the Republic of Venice; the
witness of that are the many Istrian flagstones which composed
some monuments in the city, and also the ancient structure of
the city, with bridge and canals, like a little Venice. At the
end of the Serenissima Republic and with the napoleonic
invasions, Caorle went into decline; the diocese was moved to
Chioggia and Caorle was attached to Patriarch of Venice; for a
memory from ancient times Caorle still is an ecclesiastical
In the recent past, Caorle was an important strategic
location in World War I, until the Italian Army started
its counteroffensive from the Piave.
The Cathedral of St. Stephen is the most
important monument of Caorle; built in 1038, it is a particular
example of Romanesque and "Byzantine-Ravennate" style.
Its faade is simple; near the central door there are two
bas-reliefs (left St. Agatonico, right St. William); the
interior is organized with a nave and two side aisles, divided
by pillars and columns which support semi-circular arches, and
it has a truss-beam roof.
Outside, the characteristic bell tower, of
1048, rises to a height of 48 meters. It is a typical example of
romanesque style, but it has a cylindrical structure, and it is
surmounted by a cone-shaped cusp, that makes it unique in the
The church of Blessed Virgin of the Angel is
built on a little promontory on the sea. In ancient times, the
church had three naves, but the sea repeatedly destroyed one of
them. So in eighteenth century the church was rebuilt, with the
structure that it has today. The legend says that one day a
number of fishermen saw a light on the sea; when they approached
it, they found a statue of the Virgin Mary with Child, and they
carried it to the shore. The bishop and the townspeople tried to
carry the statue to the cathedral but it was very heavy; so the
bishop called a group of children (because of their innocence)
and they succeeded in carrying it to the nearby church of
Archangel Michael (for this "Virgin of the Angel").
Devotion to the "Virgin of the sea" is very important for
Caprulan people; to her are dedicated two festivals: the annual
"feast of incoronation" (during which there is
the traditional "fire of the bell tower", with fireworks) and
the five-year feast of the Virgin of the Angel (Pope John XXIII
wanted it to take place every five years).
Other points of interest nearby: the
lagoon of Caorle,