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Visc / Visco

31 July 2024


8:30 p.m. exploration of the town of Visco with Ferruccio Tassin; departure from the former Austro-Hungarian customs house, now Museum on the Border - via Borgo Piave 22, 33040 Visco

9:30 p.m. start of the performance in the backyard of the former Austro-Hungarian customs house

11:00 p.m. social dinner in the backyard of the former Austro-Hungarian customs house

event language: exploration in Italian, performance in Friulan 

Booking is recommended: link

information: +39 3281547471

thanks to: Comune di Visco, Ferruccio Tassin, Claudio Simeon


Višek is a Slavic word for high ground, but taking a walk around here doesn't help to solve the mystery of the name: the entire municipal area is completely flat and, apart from the bell tower, you really can’t find a place where you can go up. Not even the fact that it was among Ardito Desio's first conquests ("I was a child... and on Sundays I wanted to bike to Visco, in Austria, to buy busolai, a kind of donut.") explains much, and given the subsequent implications in the human story of the illustrious explorer, perhaps it’s better this way. 

The fact is that in Visco you don't go up, in Visco you proceed horizontally, along a route that has remained the same for centuries, the route of the resurgences, of the Stradalta, which saw the people of the peninsula begin to imagine the East, and the ones on the opposite side imagining the peninsula and the sea. This is also why it’s so impressive to learn that there were once customs here and you had to stop, and it’s even more impressive to learn that once, here, you were already over there.

“Here we are, it seems to me that from here, from the tavern, we can grasp the perspective of more than a century with a single glance: next to us is the Austrian customs house from 1874, a majestic construction, with the ideology of stability I write in the text, and down there is the Italian one, much smaller, almost petty, testifying the House of Savoy’s dissatisfaction with the old border and the desire to take Gorizia, Trieste, and so on and so forth... ”

Ferruccio Tassin, a real Visco native, former literature teacher as well as historian and journalist, can’t stop speaking, he knows many things and knows how to explain them with passion and enthusiasm: “from this perspective, the barracks area, born as a small field hospital during the First World War, which then became a prison camp for Yugoslav civilians rounded up in occupied territories during the Second, the area of the barracks, occupying the space between the two customs, occupying what was once no one’s land and everyone’s land, ended up representing spatially and geographically, and before that even historically, the arrogance and horror of 
nationalism and the nation.

Yet the solution, the way out, is also spatial, as suggested by one of the internees, the poet Igo Gruden, who on Easter day 1943, April 25th, St. Mark's Day, imagined writing a card to the son of a dear friend for his Name Day, inviting him to look up from Ljubljana, as he was doing from here, at the snow-capped peak of the Triglav, so that his good wishes could reach him from up there like a whisper of wind.”