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Museums and the local area

In the interconnected sites inland from Bibione, there are numerous activities for tourists to enjoy as part of an all-embracing holiday experience in which the beach and the sea are just the first of a long series of attractions.

The coastal and inland areas complement each other and offer visitors an endless array of original opportunities. What will you find in the surrounding area? Historic towns and villages, museums, archaeological sites, natural environments, and a host of farms where you can sample traditional local products.

Exploring the area at a leisurely pace really brings out the best of its many delights and helps you to see that the town and its surroundings are not separate entities but intertwined parts of a coalesced whole.

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The ancient church of Fossalta, founded around the year 1000, was demolished in 1893. The new church was designed in 1892 by engineer Federico Berchet, followed by architect Domenico Rupolo, who completed the work.
The “domo de Fossalta” (Fossalta cathedral) was completed in 1896. There is still a great deal of work to finish and over the years the two large marble altars of the Holy Virgin of the Belt and of St. Biagio and the altar were placed in the lateral transepts.
The completion of the new main altar, also designed by Rupolo, completed the choir stalls and the upper part of the apse, right above the Lugugnana Canal, together with the construction of two lateral sacristies.


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The Gaspari Temple is a funerary temple that houses the remains of Gaspare Luigi Gaspari, his son, and wife Rosa de Egregis Gaspari. Designed by architect Andrea Scala from Udine, the temple is one of the best examples of Neo-Classicism in Friuli Venezia Giulia.
It has a quadrilateral central body and has the three apses on three sides. The facade is in Neo-Classical style and it is covered by a large centre cupola with three semi-cupola covering the three apses. The Gaspari Temple has been declared a building of special interest by a Ministerial Decree.

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 This is built on the remains of a Roman castrum. The bishops of Concordia governed it through a guastaldo, under the responsibility of the Ridolfi family, who lived there permanently, guarded it and defended it. Towards the middle of the 16th century it became the property of the counts of Attimis, then in the 18th century it passed to the family of the counts Freschi di Cucanea. 

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This was designed by the architect Balestra and was the property of the Mocenigo family until the eve of the First World War, then passing into the hands of the Mayer family from Trieste, to the Sinigallia and the Gandolfi. To the left of the entrance is a tall rice stack, powered by a wheel placed on an artificial canal, which is now no longer in use. Today the building is the property of the ATER, which has carried out extensive restoration and has transformed it into a private residence.

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This is housed in the St. Agnes’ Tower in the historic centre of Portogruaro. The Town Museum, opened in 1999, reconstructs the story of the town from the 12th century to the 20th century, highlighting and exploring the various aspects of public, private, civic and religious life in the town through the relics contained there. It contains many stone crests of noble families from Portogruaro, statues, libation dishes, inscriptions and ceramics. There are also fine 19th and 20th century prints, including a portrait of Quintino Sella as a member of the Accademia dei Lincei in 1877. 

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The facade of the Church of St. Biagio is in Renaissance style. However, in 1937, it collapsed and was rebuilt in a classical, neo-Palladian style. The current church has three naves and was completed at the end of the last century.
Inside is a marble baptismal font made by Giovanni Antonio Pilacorte in 1486 and an altarpiece of the crucifixion by Gregorio Lazzarini. The latter is a fine painting that effectively renders the dramatic tension of the event.


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The current cathedral is to all effects the last of a series of cathedrals that were built over time in Concordia Sagittaria. The first dates back to the late 15th century and was destroyed by the invasion of the Huns in 452.
The later cathedral was submerged when the River Lemene broke its banks in the mid-6th century. Other cathedrals were built in the 11th and 14th centuries.
The present construction dates back to 1466, and was commissioned by Bishop Antonio Feletto. It was completed in the 19th century, with the building of the choir stalls. At the beginning of the 20th century, during the bishopric of monsignor Francesco Isola, the present facade was built and the Martyrs’ Chapel was added, with the crypt in which their reliquaries are preserved.
The exterior of the church has a walled facade in exposed brick. In the centre of the Romanesque façade is the portal, surmounted by a circular rose window. Each of the two lateral naves has a single lancet window. On the right hand side of the church is a 12th century bell tower, 28 metres high, with two tiers of mullioned windows on each facade, and the baptistery with the layout of a Greek cross and a small cupola.
The exterior of the Gothic-style apse is decorated with another four mullioned windows. The interior of the cathedral is in the form of a Latin cross, with three naves separated by two lines of rounded arches resting on quadrangular pillars with semi-columns. In the Martyrs’ Chapel, enlarged at the beginning of the 20th century by the future cardinal Celso Benigno Luigi Costantini, is an altarpiece by Alessandro Varotari, known as “il Padovanino”.


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The museum was created by a group of enthusiasts from the town, the municipality offered its full support and the Fossalta Ethnographic Museum was thus born in 1990.
It is a repository of the trades, uses and customs of local people in the first half of the 20th century, including the main artisan activities in the area, like that of the stonemason, blacksmith, shoemaker and tailor, etc. There are also external spaces divided into a portico, farmyard, sottoportico and cellar.
There are extremely valuable reconstructions of farming environments of the era, together with special features like the lighting, recreated using original materials, old dishes, bracket lights, woven electric wires and porcelain insulators etc.















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The Dominican convent complex passed into private hands in the 19th century, purchased in lots by families whose names survive: Palazzo Marzin, Palazzo Mainardi and Palazzo Cecchini. Interesting 19th century frescoes adorn the interiors of Palazzo Cecchini, with episodes ranging from allegorical and patriotic scenes to grotesques and landscapes with a Pompeian and neo-Gothic flavour.

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This is without doubt the oldest church in Latisana. It was first mentioned in 1368. In the 18th century the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist underwent radical renovation, with the addition of Baroque elements to the facade. A few relics remain of the ancient church, probably in late-Romanesque style, including the whole frame of a rose window and its central keystone. The rose window elements are now displayed on the northern side of the church.
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St. Andrew’s Cathedral was built on the remains of three previous churches: St. Frances, St. Lazarus and St. James. Work began on 4th August 1793 and ended only in 1893. It was inaugurated in the same year by Bishop Carlo Fontanini, who consecrated this majestic Neo-Classical church.
The cathedral, with its three naves, is 55.07 metres long, 20.38 metres wide at the transept, 23.4 metres high at the central cupola and 19 metres high at the ceiling. In 1925 it was decorated by Tiburzio Donadon from Pordenone. It contains various fine works of art, including the “Holy Conversation” and the “Stories of St. Andrew” by Pomponio Amalteo, and the “St. Roch, and the “Resurrection Altarpiece” by Jacopo Negretti.
The “St. Thomas Altarpiece” by Cima da Conegliano, which was originally housed in the cathedral, was sold at a time when money was short for 1800 pounds to the British Museum. The bell tower, which is currently 59 metres high was originally 47 metres. The facade was renovated in 1879, together with the pinnacle.
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The Apostolorum Maior Basilica, under the present cathedral, is part of the complex archaeological area of piazza Costantini. It was erected on the remains of warehouses linked to homes from the 1st century A.D. to house the reliquaries of several saints.

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The Portogruaro Municipal Contemporary Art Gallery dates back to just after the Second World War. It has hosted exhibitions by internationally
famous artists like De Pisis, Carena, Guttuso, Saetti, Guidi, Afro, Vedova and Springolo.

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 Portogruaro town hall was erected in two different periods. The central part was built in 1265. Initially it reunited the original and free citizens of Portogruaro in a general assembly and later became the headquarters for meetings of the Maggio Consiglio, (The May Council) with 15 aristocratic members of 25 years of age or more.
This appointed the Podestà (a rare privilege for a Municipality, granted by Bishop Tisone da Camino). In 1371 the Palace caught fire and between 1372 and 1380 a new loggia was built with Ghibelline battlements.
The two lateral wings were built in the 16th century. In 1848 the building was partly decorated in “questionable Gothic style” and in 1887 the prison was moved to the ground floor of its new headquarters in via Seminario.


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Portogruaro This is housed in the Villa Comunale, a lovely 16th century building by Bergamasco. It was opened in 1976 as the “Michele Gortani” museum with 10 display cases. Today there are 25 cases housing around 1500 fossils. They range from the lower Palaeolithic era to the appearance of man. Most come from Veneto, Fruili and Carnia. 


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The arch, which was rebuilt in 2014 after years of relative abandonment, is known as the Arco del Fondaco “de’ Todeschi” and represents Portogruaro’s commercial vocation and, in general, the town’s fundamental role at the time of the Venetian Republic. The original building had three naves divided into two courtyards and was located in the San Giovanni area. The Arco del Fondaco is made of large blocks of Istrian stone, surmounted by a trabeation with the lion of St. Mark in the centre. In 2014 it was restored to its ancient splendour and placed in Piazza Marinetti, in one of the historic entrances to the town.

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The latest discovery dates back to 2013. Two Roman sarcophagi were found outside what were once the ancient town walls. The monument, which is today temporarily housed under the Municipal Loggia, dates back to the late 2nd century A.D. It is made up of a podium in blocks of Calcare di Aurisina, originally with three levels.
The whole construction reached a height of 1.3 metres and had a perimeter base of 6.5 x 1.7 metres. At the top of the podium, as it was originally, the fragments of the two main sarcophagi in decorated preconnesio marble have been placed.
They were approximately 1.7 high and over 2 metres long and were demolished in ancient times.


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The noble homes of Portogruaro frame the historic centre and embellish its architectural beauty. The most important include the 15th century Palazzo de Götzen, Casa Longo, with its important decorative compositions, Palazzetto Fratto, which also hosted Ippolito Nievo, Palazzo Moro, with two elegant trifora, and Palazzo Muschietti, still embellished today by an external frieze featuring fruit under the eaves of the roof. 

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This ancient church of Concordia, recently requalified as a cathedral, was extensively renovated in the late 15th century. It originally had a single nave and two other naves were added in the 17th century. There are many wooden parts and furnishings inside. 

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This was built around the mid-12th century and was once called Porta del Bando and then Porta S. Lazzaro (St. Lazarus’ Gate) after the lepers’ 
hospice of the same name, which was built in 1203 on what is now via Zappetti. It was restored in 1555-56 by podestà Girolamo Zorzi, as the inscription above the gate recalls.

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