What to visit






Villa Fiorita was Hemingway's residence for a short time and some poems were probably inspired by this stay. Near the Villa, elementary schools were built and, in June 1918, they were transformed into a field hospital. When Hemingway arrived here, he was wounded. First he was treated and then he was baptised because of his serious, life-threatening wounds. The chaplain from the brigade of Ancona, Don Bianchi, officiated the ceremony.

We turn left before the church, into Via Barbarana, immediately after the bridge over the Meolo river. Here, Hemingway could see the signs of the recent battle: the machine gun nest to defend the bridge, the Maitan tavern with its shutters ripped open and, on the left, the town hall with an entire corner that had collapsed.

Travelling all the way along the Via Barbarana, with the Meolo river on the left, and before turning into Via Pavani on our right, we continue past San Pietro Novello to see Villa Albrizzi, the home of the silkworms, to which the story "Insomnia" is dedicated. Nearby, there is the crossroads of San Pietro Novello with the unburied dead from the attack on 19 June, which inspired the story "A Way You'll Never Be", written 14 years later, but still with very vivid signs of the fight and the experience, steeped in pity, of death. Returning to Via Pavani (the "low road" that Hemingway took to go to Fossalta) we go all the way along the road as far as the intersection with Strada da Zenson; here, we turn right towards Fossalta with the Argine Regio (Royal Embankment) - the first Italian line lost in the June attack - looming on the left.

Once in Fossalta, we go around the fountain, with the parish church on the right, taking the road to the pontoon bridge and we immediately arrive at the Argine Regio: in front, there is the Battistero dei "Ragazzi del '99" (Baptistery of the "Boys of '99), a stele that commemorates Hemingway and, on the far left, the “Buso de Burato” where the writer was wounded.

From these places and from this experience of fear and pain, stories like "A Separate Peace" and "Please, please dear Jesus" and poems such as "Killed Piave - July 8 1918" were written.

Leaving the Piave river and Fossalta behind us, we turn right at the first intersection, towards Pralongo - Monastier; here, before the little Church of Pralongo, dedicated to the Black Madonna, there was a dilapidated stable where the wounded Hemingway was taken and where he spent a very hard night: the opposing artillery had awakened, he had lost a lot of blood and was in shock; surrounded by the dead and wounded, he waited and prayed and at a certain point he was tempted to take his gun and put an end to it all.

At dawn, an ambulance finally took him to the Health Section at the schools in Monastier.

Another residence to visit is about 1 km from Villa Fiorita, to reach the Treviso-Mare road, where Casa Botter is located, ARC refreshments station no. 14. This is where Hemingway set of by bicycle on his way to the front lines in Piave.

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