by Giovanni Cagnassi
Piazza Europa is the last lived-in and animated bastion of the Lido in its eastern part. A strip of beach that reaches as far as the mouth of the Piave River, a landmark for this entire area of the seaside town that precedes the village of Cortellazzo, a hamlet of Jesolo dedicated to fishing and yachting. Two squares were created at the turn of the 1970s. Turin, around the Marzotto village, and Europa, serving the area’s first high-rise buildings, such as the skyscraper nestled in the pine forest that still stands today as the first example of high-rise development, well before the later buildings that came into being with a subsequent master plan. It took another twenty years for Piazza Europa to acquire its more defined urbanistic, as well as touristic and social, identity. The few residents waited several decades before they could really experience it all year round, with the opening of small shops and markets, settlements and small villages. Meanwhile, since the 1980s, the world of nightlife has also conquered this end of the Lido. After the era of Champagne a go go, one of Jesolo’s first discos, the famous Movida, then Musiko’, which made Jesolo’s entertainment history, opened behind Piazza Europa. In the 1990s, young people from all over Italy and Europe arrived to populate the night in the Pineta, then poured out at dawn onto the still extensive beach surrounded by sand dunes populated by families. Two worlds that have crossed paths for so long without contrast. As a result, restaurants and pizzerias also began to operate at night, providing an important service for hundreds of boys and girls. Piazza Europa was the scene of this changing world, albeit unadorned with its simple car parks and hedges, but pleasant and international in its attendance. Tourism developed here with the many villas and cottages in the pine forest until the Merville mirrored skyscraper, one of the tallest and most prestigious, rose up and rewrote the rules of urban development at the lido after 2000. Today, just a stone’s throw from Piazza Europa, a new and exclusive agglomeration of clubs and shops, among the most sought-after, has sprung up. And so Piazza Europa has lost some of its primordial polish, while remaining a strategic area for parking and children’s games.