by Giovanni Cagnassi
It was the main entrance to Lido di Jesolo, the pivotal point in and out of the seaside resort. Piazza Drago is still today the most renowned square of the city, protagonist over time of a change in its history. Rewinding the tape brings to mind snapshots that are hard to forget. Both for tourists and for the residents, who still remember it.
Until 2012, the year in which the two new skyscrapers, which have become a symbol of the modern city, were finished, the square, which bears the name of the institutional symbol (a dragon), was still associated with the Atvo bus station, even before Fap. There was no lack of vintage bars that smelt of coffee and soda, with their vast terraces reminding clients that the holiday at the beach was starting.
The square gave its name to the entire area, almost reaching the sea. “See you in Piazza Drago”, they used to say then, pointing to an unspecified point between the bus station and the coast opposite.
Before Piazza Marconi assumed its strong and recognized identity, thanks to the important redevelopment and the sand nativity scene, everything was “Piazza Drago”. From nearby San Donà and the great hinterland of the lower Piave came the coaches who accompanied the seasonal workers and the many commuters for the day on the beach. A bustle of people would be concentrated in this area before the bus station was moved to via Equilio. It was in fact the hub of transport par excellence.
And then the coaches from Venice and Treviso, tourist buses from all over Italy and Europe, which had their main arrival and sorting center for the various hotel or accommodation destinations. Taxis, always ready and dutiful.
Crowds thronged between the waiting room and the square in front, ready to give life to a long-dreamed holiday: waiting to reach the beach, for a day, for a week or more.
Today, the towers of Piazza Drago dominate the scene, in an area that extends over 10,000 square meters: two towers 78 meters high, with 22 floors each. At their base, shops, bars and restaurants. Imposing skyscrapers, illuminated at night, a symbol of the transformation and birth of what has been defined as the new “Miami of the Upper Adriatic”. All this, for those arriving from via Mameli, accompanied by a large luminescent writing: “JESOLO”. Symbolic place for selfies and souvenir photos. To remind us, if needed, where we are. But also, and above all, where we were.