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Most certainly founded over two thousand years ago, Caorle (the ancient Caprulae, Island of the Goats) was once a village of fishermen and shepherds. King Attila's caids on Italy led the Veneto and Friulano people to take refuge on these shores. In this way, in the 5th century A.D. Caorle became one of the largest cities in Northern Italy with over fifteen thousand inhabitants who made a living out of trade, fishing and agriculture, and were governed by a progressive republican system. The birth of Venice, and consequently the gradual migration to this new city - a pole of attraction for both trade and culture - brought about a rapid decline for Caorle which was heavily plundered in 1380 by the Genoese Pietro Doria who laid it waste with his fleet because Caorle was one of the Venetians' allies.
Today, Caorle is famous for its picturesque landscapes, with its prominent cylindrical bell-tower rising to a height of 48 metres (dating from 1100) and for its very old cathedral dating from 1038. Inside the cathedral are the golden Byzantine altar-piece, a gift bestowed by Queen Caterina Cornaro, finely worked with many allegorical and religious engravings, six 14th century paintings in Byzantine style from the school of Giovanni Veneziano and a painting on the theme dedicated to St. Peter walking on the waters, attributed to the school of Titian. The small church-lighthouse at Madonna dell'Angelo is very dear to the hearts of the Caorle people.
It stands on the cliffs and calls all the generous seafaring people to safe refuge. The large hamlet spreads out around these symbols of history and faith and encircled by the enchanting cliffs, with a hundred or so humble and modest houses, all small and each one different from the other, painted in cheerful pastel shades, with its narrow streets and sunny little squares that are picturesque, attractive and original and that in the past have made the Veneto coast famous.
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