Ca’ Corniani has not always been the vast extension of cultivated fields we see today. The first data we have about the place indicate an area overrun by water, the Caorle Lagoon where, following the ancient course of the Livenza River, nowadays known as Livenza Morta, it was already possible to glimpse the modern borders of the Estate.
The lagoon belonged to the Serenissima Republic of Venice, but was leased to the local population that used it for hunting and fishing. Over the years, natural reclamation turned the Caorle lagoon into a marshy site with islands of dry soil.
Seeing the chance of bringing money to the till, Venice divided the ancient lagoon into lots called “prese” to be sold to its nobility. The third and fourth lots, corresponding to the Ca’ Corniani area, were purchased first by the Cottoni family and then by the Corniani family.
1851 is the year in which Ca’ Corniani was reborn: Assicurazioni Generali purchased the farm and conducted the first large reclamation of the area. Thus, what was first a marsh was turned into arable land.
The reclamation works began with the construction of natural drainage canals that worked until the pumping station was put in operation in 1880 via the installation of steam-driven pumps to help the manual land reclamation works. The soil started to be drained of water and dedicated to agriculture.
During World War I it was flooded once again to slow down the advance of the Austrians after the defeat at Caporetto. Despite the various difficulties encountered in the period immediately after the war, reclamation continued and Ca’ Corniani demonstrated its capacity for rebirth after such a great trauma. Tenacity is the key feature of this Estate’s entire history.
By 1930, the estate’s lands were entirely reclaimed and Ca’ Corniani became a veritable community with a population of up to 3,000 living in the main farm centre and in the 80 tenant farms scattered throughout the area.
The estate developed one of the first examples of corporate welfare: its population received jobs, health service, training, schools for the children and even a recreation centre where it could gather. This avant-garde vision of farming activity was founded on a model of sustainable development.
After years of profitable activity, starting in the 1960’s the new farming technology caused a decrease in the workforce and in a drop in Ca’ Corniani’s farming population and activity.
Today Ca’ Corniani is a flourishing agricultural estate belonging to Gruppo Genagricola, mainly dedicated to the cultivation of crops and herbaceous pastures, with a small portion of land dedicated to vine growing.
Taking up again the farsightedness that has been a main feature of its history, Ca’ Corniani has inaugurated a new model of agriculture. It starts from the enhancement of the territory, the bearing concept of which is based on cultivating the soil not only in order to guarantee the production of food but also to showcase the historical, rural and environmental assets linked to agriculture.