The places in the region the great American writer lived
“Arsiero, Asiago, Half a hundred more, Little border villages, Back before the war, Monte Grappa, Monte Corno, Twice a dozen such, In the piping times of peace Didn’t come to much.”
Starting from these words I want to tell you a little more about our homeland, that Veneto so beloved by great writers and artists who lived here and fell in love with it…
Ernest Hemingway was among them. The attraction towards strong feelings has always marked Ernest as a man and as a writer: his life in Veneto – so intense and repeated, started by chance and then by choice – begins violently in 1918, as a volunteer for the American red cross in the Great War.
We imagine him taking cigarettes and chocolate to Italian soldiers in the trenches of Pasubio, brave and fearless, tired of his role in the back lines and willing to do more, to leave a mark.
From here he moves to the Piave front, in Fossalta: he gets hit by shrapnel everywhere and a very young Ernest is hospitalized in Milan where he meets – and desperately falls in love with – nurse Agnes Von Kurowsky, who will be the protagonist of his masterpiece “A farewell to arms”.
Wild, restless and unruly, from the US he dedicates books and pages to “his” Veneto, shaping in writing the death scenes still in his eyes.
His love for Italy remains and wins: in 1948 he goes back there, this time with his (fourth) wife Mary, to fix the old memories of wars.
From Cortina he gets to his beloved Venice, adored city where one can get lost in flavors and colors between the Rialto Market, the town of Hotel Gritti, Locanda Cipriani in Torcello, Caffè Florian in San Marco square, the Harry’s Bar where he felt at home and drank Martini, duck hunting in the Caorle Lagoon – an uncontaminated land of sea people: here he meets 19-year-old Adriana Ivancich, yet another love for Ernest, but this time with scandal, later inspiring “Across the river and into the trees”.
It’s aimlessly wandering, with no hurry, enjoying the calle and savoring the city, writing books and taking notes sitting at his favorite table, getting close to places, locals and flavors – Martini dry and Amarone, because “here they know how to live” he used to say about the Veneto region.
An intense life, filled with adventures and deeds later embodied by the characters of his books, turmoil and adventures, even loneliness, which he could find in our landscapes between land and sea: he was able to translate this feast of emotions on paper, with huge love and a tribute to our towns.
“I am a boy of the lower Piave… I’m an old Veneto’s fanatic and I will leave my heart here”.
Thanks for choosing us as guardians.