The land of Piave River

Noventa has its roots in the banks of the Piave river and the stream of the water defines its history. The surrounding of the city and the mainland are rich in evocative trails that will lead to the discovery of natural paradises, corners filled with culture, history, art, memories from the Great War, and ancient manors.


From the picturesque river park, walking along the bank, one can easily reach the archaeological area of St. Maurus, where the ancient archpriest's church, dating back to the 11th century and destroyed in the First World War, once stood. Excavations carried out at the end of the 1970s brought to light the beauty of Noventa's ancient history, in an impressive complex made up of numerous layers - Roman, Medieval, and Renaissance - bearing witness to the articulated sequence in which the local settlement process took place.
The archaeological finds prove that the area was inhabited as early as the 1st century B.C. as a part of nearby Oderzo, not far from the important road axis of the Via Annia leading to Altino. In particular, a small Romanesque church emerged in the first layer, the primitive parish church dedicated to St. Maurus, which was subsequently destroyed in the mid-15th century to make way for the larger church destined to last until 1917. In the layer below, a Roman villa dating from the 4th century A.D., and in the deepest layer another more ancient Roman settlement, datable to the 1st century B.C., were discovered. Two splendid mosaics with geometric patterns, datable to the end of the 4th century and part of the Roman villa, were also revealed, as well as several fragments of Gothic frescoes from the ancient parish church.
Recovered by the Archaeological Superintendency, the artifacts have been restored and placed in the Permanent Archaeological Exhibition in the Council Chamber of the Town Hall.

Towards the end of the 1500s, many Venetian notable families chose Noventa as the ideal place to build their manor houses, due to the benefits of the convenient river link with Venice. Thus the villas of the Memo, Erizzo, Molin, Zen, and Da Mosto families were built, decorated with works by the greatest artists of the time. All of them were destroyed by grenades during the First World War and the ones we can admire today are reconstructions of the 1920s.
In the heart of the town is the majestic Villa Ca' Zorzi, built by Antonio Ca' Zorzi, father of the poet Giacomo Noventa. The barchessa, the large Italian-style park with ancient trees and widely distributed spaces reflects the late 19th century culture, with the addition of Art Nouveau stylistic features.
In the city center stands the elegant Villa Lucatello, built in the heart of the nineteenth-century Villa Bortoluzzi, which was itself built on the ancient bulk of the sixteenth-century Palazzo Molin.
A little further on we find the majestic Villa Doria De Zuliani, a clear example of a 20th-century manor house with influences from the previous century, once belonging to the De Zuliani Porta di Ferro family.
Villa Bortoluzzi is located in the nearby village of Santa Teresina: its suburban location, far from the battlefront on the Piave, saved it from the fate of the other villas during the First World War. Built at the beginning of the 18th century by the Fonseca, a Spanish family that became part of the Venetian nobility, it later became property of the Bortoluzzi family. Today, from a historical-architectural point of view, it is the most valuable building in Noventa.

Noventa floodplain, the large flat area between the Piave River and its embankment, is a charming place, a true green paradise where the passage of time is dictated by the flow of the verdant waters of the river. Wooded areas, some cultivated fields, and very little human intervention make it an area where to spend pleasant hours surrounded by the silence and by the scents of wild nature.
American writer Ernest Hemingway was closely linked to the charm of this natural environment: wounded in 1918 while doing voluntary service as an ambulance driver for Italian soldiers with the American Red Cross, he described the dramatic experience of the war, his memories, and the emotions he felt in the Piave area in his famous novels ""A Farewell to Arms"" and ""Across the River and Into the Trees"". In the pages of his stories, a keen attachment to the Veneto region emerges, to the point of defining himself as ''a boy of the Lower Piave Valley'': here he met people, discovered places, and savored tastes that shaped his life and inspired his literary production.
Nowadays it is still possible to walk through the areas of the Great War following Hemingway's footsteps on the Hemingway Path, a ring-route that winds for 11 km, starting from Noventa and crossing the peculiar pontoon bridge on the Piave river, leading to the nearby town of Fossalta di Piave, where a memorial stele has been placed on the spot he was injured in.

Noventa di Piave is part of a series of interesting nature trails that will allow you to discover some of the most picturesque places in the area. A unique experience in touch with nature, both by foot or bike, crossing landscapes where flora and fauna still prevail. The various itinerary options are organized in sections that link Noventa to Fossalta, San Donà, Musile, and the other nearby towns, along the enchanting banks of the Piave and Sile rivers, to the Adriatic Sea and the Venetian Lagoon.