The way to Grado is quite impressive in and of itself when you are driving along the miles-long dam by the lagoon in your car. The city itself has a lovely old town centre and has developed into a modern resort with a lot of flair. While Grado was used in Roman times only as a port for the nearby Aquileia, at the time of the Austrian Habsburgs it has become a popular spa resort for aristocrats from all over Europe. Thermal baths and spa treatments are still very popular in Grado today, but Grado is, first and foremost, a popular seaside resort in the northern Adriatic. The long Spiaggia Principale, a mile-long sandy beach, extends from the centre to the east and is completely covered by public and private swimming areas.