Grado is an important tourist and thermal center, also known as "Isola del Sole" and, for its particular history, as "the First Venice". The territory extends between homonymous lagoon, Isonzo river mouth and Adriatic Sea. Already a castrum and Roman port at the service of Aquileia, Grado developed around 452 when many inhabitants took refuge on the island to escape the hordes of Huns led by Attila. The lagoon island was fortified and took the name of Nova Aquileia, under Byzantine influence. With Treaty of Campoformio (1797), Grado became part of the dominions of Austria, to this period date back the origins of Grado as a seaside resort that hosted personalities such as Freud and Pirandello. In 1936, Grado was connected to the mainland by a bridge that ended its centuries-old isolation. Among the places of interest, Basilica of Sant'Eufemia and Baptistery, Basilica of Santa Maria delle Grazie (5th century) and Sanctuary of Madonna of Barbana (582). The island of Barbana, destination every year of pilgrimage, is permanently inhabited by a community of Franciscans. The lagoon extends north of the island of Grado and is characterized by "casoni", simple houses with thatched roof used in the past by fishermen. Typical boat of the inhabitants of the lagoon is the rowing batela. The westernmost beach is called Côte d'Azur and continues to the seafront and the dam that protects old town from the storms. "Perdòn de Barbana" is the main religious tradition of the community, celebrated on the morning of the first Sunday in July, provides a suggestive boat procession from Basilica of Sant'Eufemia to the island of Barbana, where there is an ancient Marian shrine. Since 2008 "Grado Giallo" literary festival has been held in the city, a series of conferences, shows and meetings with authors from the world of thrillers, police, noir, spy stories and horror. The association "Grado Teatro", animated by Tullio Svettini, proposes texts by local authors with themes that recall the history and culture of Grado. Grado Biagio Marin is, among the most famous contemporary Italian poets, the greatest singer of the island.