Some 11km south of Aquileia, isolated among lagoons at the end of a causeway, is the ancient island-town of GRADO, through which Aquileia once traded with Syria, Cyprus, Arabia and Asia Minor. But Grado is no miniature Venice, despite its parallel history and situation, the tiny historic centre being all but lost among the concrete buildings of the large, modern resort. For relaxing on the beach, however, this is one of the best places in the northern Adriatic, the resort extending eastwards along the length of the sandy island. The water is safe and warm as a bath, and almost as shallow – indeed, the name of the town comes from the gentle angle of its shore. The free beaches are at the eastern and western ends; if you want a locker, deckchair and shower facilities, you have to pay a few euros to one of the businesses on the Lungomare Adriatico.