Literary tourism

Foto Arcangelo Piai

Travelling with books


It seems a custom for Venetian writers to take inspiration from their landscapes to tell universal stories of places, people and feelings. But even world-renowned artists they have set their adventures in these territories. Think of Hemingway, who in Across the River and into the Trees tells the story of Eastern Veneto: the valleys, pine forests and lagoons of Bibione and Caorle


“Gigantic, intricate, wonderful delta.” Thus writes Emilio Salgari in The Mystery of the Black Jungle, one of the fantasy novels in the Sandokan Series. Whilst it is now known that the writer never travelled to the places where he set his novels, few know that his inspiration in the description of the Ganges Delta was the island of Boschetto, a stretch of the Adige river south of Verona, which at the time was a wild and wooded area.

What about the “postcard sent by the gods” by the contemporary poet Andrea Zanzotto? Born and raised in the hills of Prosecco di Conegliano and Valdobbiadene, he dedicates these very fine words precisely to this landscape. The poetry of Zanotto lives of the land that surrounds him, the sweet and colourful landscape of the province of Treviso, known as the Marca Gioiosa et Amorosa, a medieval epithet still applicable today to this region famous for its carefree life and good wine.

Dino Buzzati was more serious and austere, almost as though he wanted to remember the mountains among which he was born and never forgot: the Belluno Dolomites. He was one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century and his works take us on a timeless journey. To the Schiara, the mountain he saw from the balcony of his home, he dedicated his book “L’amico Schiara” (The Friend Schiara), while in his latest work “I miracoli di Val Morel” (The Miracles of Val Morel), Buzzati draws inspiration from the solitary and mysterious landscapes of Valmorel, in the municipality of Limana.


Mario Rigoni Stern instead told the story of the Asiago Plateau, in the province of Vicenza. In his novels, the protagonists are the woods, the animals and the mountains that saw his birth, growing up to become a man and leaving as a soldier . Such as the trees of Villa Zecchin, mentioned in the preface of his most famous novel “The Sergeant in the Snow”.