This is certainly one of the most unique and extraordinary sites in Il Vittoriale, as proof to the genius and originality of Gabriele d’Annunzio.
A ship, set in the hillside within the great Park that hosts the Poet’s place of residence, atop a “jutting plateau in the shape of a bow” in the direction of the lake and the Adriatic Sea.
The bow of the Royal Ship Puglia, one of the protagonists of World War I, was reassembled on the premises of Il Vittoriale between 1925 and 1938 when its stern was completed and rebuilt in masonry. An immense civil shrine, with its great bronze figurehead depicting “Vittoria” by the sculptor Renato Brozzi, a temple dedicated to those who died at sea arranged at the second mast and war memorabilia (including some ship models) stowed away in the hold.
The Ship may be reached through a particularly charming path, which allows one to appreciate Il Vittoriale’s Park: from the Museum entrance, after having reached a small square in front of the Poet’s House, one takes Viale di Aligi, then there’s a short climb along walkways connecting to the wooden deck of the stern.
Suspended between history and myth, ready to take sail towards the horizon marked by the Garda hillside, amidst the cypress trees in the Park and its war cannons, one truly has the feeling of being in an incomparable place when visiting the deck of the Royal Ship Puglia.
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