The Tagliamento, for us Friulians, is not just a river; it defines, like the judging Christ on a Gothic tympanum, our lives, our birth "di cà e di là da l’aghe": on this side or the other.
Born or arrived from afar – sometimes even from very distant places – on its rugged, rustic banks, writers and poets have loved and sung it, from Ippolito Nievo to Pierpaolo Pasolini and Elio Bartolini, to Esther Kinsky, to Ernest Hemingway, who got to know it during the Great War and fell in love with its waters, the human and animal life that inhabited it and made it, and still makes it, unique. Some of the most powerful pages of “A Farewell to Arms” are set on our river.
To seal the bond between life and water, the poet Nico Naldini wished for his ashes to be scattered in the Tagliamento, in a mystical union with the flowing life. Because when it comes to the Tagliamento, a Friulian, and anyone who loves it, never really leaves; they simply become a part of it. They enter its genetic makeup, its thoughts, its desires. The Tagliamento is how a Friulian enters eternity.
The Tagliamento has its own voice, one that we can all listen to, and some have wanted to capture, in music or on a page. A voice that will never cease, made of the flowing water and the laughter of children playing on its banks, reveling in it and learning, through laughter, the happiness of dust and grass, of clouds in the wind.