Fossalta di Piave

F

Welcome to “F” day in the A to Z Challenge. My theme this year is Ernest Miller Hemingway (EMH).

Fossalta di Piave is a town in the province of Venice in the region of Veneto, Italy. Fossalta di Piave is the place where EMH was injured in World War I. EMH did not pass the eye test to get into the service so he volunteered with the American Red Cross as an ambulance driver. At half past midnight on July 8, 1918, EMH was handing out chocolate and cigarettes to some soldiers and they let him come closer to the front as he had badly wanted to do. A shell went off and one of the three soldiers around him was instantly killed, one lost his legs and died shortly afterwards, and EMH, after gathering himself up after the explosion and landing in the dirt, dragged another soldier to safety. As he and the soldier were almost to safety, EMH was barraged with gunfire that injured his legs. Also, he had shrapnel wounds from the explosion and many pieces of shrapnel were removed from his legs. He was shortly transported to Treviso and then after that to Milan. EMH was 18 years old when he was injured.

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–EMH in an ambulance in WWI. Photo courtesy of Ernest Hemingway Collection. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston.

Today Fossalta di Piave, located about 40 miles from Venice, is a tourist town of 4,000 inhabitants. Below is a picture of the Stele Hemingway, the marker on the spot where EMH was injured.

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When I was in Key West, Florida, in 2013, I visited the Custom House Museum. At this museum I was astonished to see EMH’s uniform in a display case:

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  4 comments for “Fossalta di Piave

  1. April 7, 2016 at 12:31 PM

    Many years ago I used ‘fiesta’ as a tour guide down over the Pyrenees into Pamplona or Iruna if you will.
    Great Stuff

    • April 7, 2016 at 12:53 PM

      If you do that tour again some day, Michael, I’d like to go along. I just read a short history of Pamplona in a book about the San Fermin fiesta. Very interesting. On my bucket list (but not for this year). Thanks for visiting, Denise

  2. April 7, 2016 at 12:35 PM

    Wow, his very uniform on display. That certainly is something to see. He sure made great use of a life spared by fire. So young in that picture. Too bad for the other soldiers who didn’t make it out alive.

    • April 7, 2016 at 12:55 PM

      Yeah, Silvia. I was shocked to see it. Had no idea it still existed. But EMH kept everything–a real pack rat.

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