An online travel guide says Grado isn’t much known outside Italy and Austria but among them it’s very popular for several reasons. Being Austria’s closest seaside resort (in Italy) and well connected by public transport, it’s the easiest way for a relaxing getaway by the beach. I remember Grado’s beach from my childhood days but not much else, however me and my friend are huge Italy fans, so this was our second trip together after Venice last year!
As Grado was under Austrian K&K regency (until WW I) and part of the so-called “Austrian riviera” you clearly can feel the influence until today, but also Romans and Venetians have left their traces in early history, which are most visible in the beautiful Venetian-style Old Town. Unlike many other Italian cities, the resort is very clean, neat and organised. Maybe too organised if you consider Grado’s main beach, which is one of the typical Italian sundbed-umbrella-in file beaches: Not my favourite, but for a day or two not bad at all – the sand is soft, the water’s shallow and clean (the beach is labeled with the Blue Flag) and there are cabins, toilets and showers.
Beside the beach, it’s the compactness which we appreciated: It offers pretty much everything you’d expect from an Italian city: Open promenades, piazzas, narrow alleys, a harbour and a canal – everything in convenient walking distance. From the little canal you can catch a boat to explore the nearby lagoon and other islands, very similar to Venice. And of course, there’s the food! Needless to say that the selection of Italian delicacies are endless and tasty! We definitely pampered ourselves in plenty of gelaterias, pizzerias and trattorias 🙂
The lagoon and Barbana
The beach and promenade
Grado is a five-hour drive away from Vienna or Munich and therefore one of the easiest beach destinations to get to from Austria and Southern Germany. By public transportation it takes a little longer, but it’s easy enough: The closest railway station with international connections is Udine. From there, regular buses make the one-hour trip to Grado. You can either check the Austrian State Railway or the Italian Railway to check connections and buy tickets.
See also my other articles about Italy: