The Casoni
The ancient habitation in the amphibious Veneto

In the lagoons, on the banks of the rivers or in the land, the Casoni have represented for centuries the home, the village or the shelter for the inhabitants of Veneto: farmers, fishermen, hunters or wandering people. Sails of straw and straight reeds on the edges where water and land meet each other, along the misty borders of the low tide, over the sandbank of the inner lagoons, in the marshy clearings of the hills. For centuries, the “casoni” have repeated the original form of the paleohistorical structure, with variations, which are only due to the variety of the incidental functions and to the quality of the building materials, which are available here: wood, straw, sedge, and clay.

The radical transformations, which have been realized in this region, above all during the last century, cancelled them from the daily landscape and they removed them from our memory: few well-kept examples and few ruins integrated in new buildings remain nowadays in the country. The “casone” are rarer along the coasts of the rivers and in the inner marshes, which were harnessed as hydroelectric power stations or as irrigation systems, asphalted or parcelled out.

They still exist in the lagoons or in the fishing valleys of the Oriental part of Veneto, in Venice’s province, in the municipal districts of Caorle and San Michele al Tagliamento.
That is to say in a land of rivers, canals and stretches of water which, even if it was reduced and affected by a century of hydraulic and agricultural drainages, was able to maintain its own particular and very delicate nature up until today.

The very ancient constructive technique of the ““casoni” of lagoon or valley that are situated on the edge of canals, rivers or on isolated muds, (sope) announces the principles of the fondamenta of Venice. The “casone” was a permanent but also a seasonal habitation, in according to the ages, and nowadays it is the place of the identity for the local populations.


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