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location Northern Italy
River system Piave
source Monte Peralba , south side of the Carnic Alps
46 ° 37 ′ 4 ″  N , 12 ° 43 ′ 24 ″  E
Source height 2037  m slm
muzzle at Jesolo in the Upper Adriatic Coordinates: 45 ° 31 '46 "  N , 12 ° 43' 39"  E 45 ° 31 '46 "  N , 12 ° 43' 39"  E
Mouth height m slm
Height difference 2037 m
Bottom slope 9.3 ‰
length 220 km
Catchment area 4,126.84 km²
Drain MQ
98 m³ / s
Left tributaries Vajont , Soligo
Right tributaries Cordevole di Visdende, Padola , Ansiei , Boite , Maè , Ardo di Belluno , Cordevole , Caorame, Sonna
Reservoirs flowed through Lago di Centro Cadore
Medium-sized cities Belluno , San Donà di Piave
Piave in Northern Italy

Piave in Northern Italy

The Piave (German: "Ploden") is a 220 km long river in northern Italy . It rises on the southern slope of the Carnic Alps near the German-speaking island around the town of Bladen (Italian: Sappada) on the Hochweißstein mountain (Monte Peralba) and flows in its wide, gravelly torrent valley, which dries out in summer , through Longarone , where it exits the Torrente Maè takes up the Val di Zoldo , as well as Belluno and flows into the Upper Adriatic at the famous seaside resort of Jesolo . The place Ploden is also the namesake of the German name for the Italian river Piave.


The origin of the name "Piave" is unclear; however, it could come from the Romance word for rain (Latin: “pluvia”, Ladin : “plöia”, Venetian : “pióva”). The enjoyment of the river is also controversial. In today's Italian, the piave is masculine ("il Piave"), but in Venetian it is feminine (la piave). Both forms also occur in German; However, the masculine variant is considered correct today. Allegedly, the final official determination of the gender goes back to the time of fascism in Italy, when the Piave was stylized as the stream of fate of Italy after the battles in World War I and numerous patriotic songs and poems were written about the river. The decisive final battle of the war, which led to the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian army and the victory of Italy, took place northeast of the Piave near Vittorio Veneto . The most famous of these songs, La leggenda del Piave (La canzone del Piave) , was written by the poet EA Mario (actually Giovanni Ermete Gaeta) and was after the fall of Mussolini in 1943 and the occupation of northern Italy by Germany ( Italian social republic ) until the end of the monarchy In 1946 even the national anthem of the southern kingdom of Italy, liberated from the Allies . In this song the piave is masculine.


Upper Piave Valley

The Piave rises in the Carnic Alps at 2,037 m above sea level at the foot of the Hochweißstein (Monte Peralba) in the Cimbrian municipality of Ploden . This place belongs to the Friuli Venezia Giulia region . The river changes below the Plodnertal and up to its mouth in the Veneto region .

After the Ploden valley, the Piave flows through the Comelico high valley and then the middle Cadore . In its further course the river forms the border between the Southern Carnic Alps on its east side and the Dolomites on its west side. The Piave is dammed into a lake south of Domegge di Cadore. This lies at 683 m, has an area of ​​2.3 km² and is used to generate electricity. The Pieve di Cadore power plant was built in the late 1950s and commissioned in 1961.

Lower Piave Valley


In Roman times , the Piave flowed into the northern part of what was then the Venetian lagoon , where its waters merged with the Brenta and the Sile , which then also flowed into the lagoon. Over the course of today's Canale San Felice in Cannaregio , the Piave flowed into the Brenta, whose old course is now the Canal Grande . Together they then flowed towards the sea and finally flowed into the Adriatic Sea at Porto di Lido (also Porto de San Nicolò). The northern of the three current approaches to the lagoon is the old confluence of the Piave and the Brenta.

These mountain rivers brought a lot of alluvial material into the lagoon and thus contributed to the formation of the islands on which the city of Venice stands today. However, the annual meltwater in spring also led to regular flooding, and the flatlands around the lagoon today were an extensive swampy landscape, where malaria was endemic.

As the Western Roman Empire dissolved more and more into chaos and anarchy, more and more refugees poured into the lagoon and settled the swampy islands. The invasion of the Visigoths under Alaric I around 400, the destruction of Aquileia by the Huns in 452 and the incursion of the Lombards in 568 triggered such waves of refugees. In 589 there was a great flood called Rotta della Cucca in Italian , reported by the Lombard historian and monk Paulus the deacon . The bank fortifications had not been adequately maintained and renovated since the collapse of the Roman administration and could no longer withstand the floods of that year. According to tradition, a dike breach on the Adige near the town of Cucca gave its name to this flood , today's Veronella , 35 km southeast of Verona. However, all the rivers of the northern Adriatic, which were connected in the mouth area in a complicated network of canals and branches, overflowed their banks, including the most water-rich river in the region, the Po . From Comacchio in the south to Grado in the north, the entire coastal area was flooded. This flood radically changed the course of the ancient rivers and the people of Venice decided to take protective measures for the future. As the first major project of the young Republic of Venice , the course of the Piave was changed. A new river bed was created and the Piave was diverted from the lagoon. The new estuary was now south of Jesolo , between today's Lido di Jesolo (Faro) and Porto di Piave Vecchia.

It is said from the Middle Ages that the Piave was used to transport wood. Wood was swept from the densely wooded areas of the Zimbri and Belluno to Venice , where it was used to build new houses and also to build ships. This wood could be brought to the city's construction sites and shipyards via the canalised oxbow lakes of the Piave. In 1258, according to other sources in 1383, the Piave changed its natural course in the area of San Donà , as a result of which the eponymous church of San Donato has been on the right bank and belongs to the municipality of Musile , while the city of San Donà is on the opposite left bank of the river.

In 1680 the mouth of the Piave was changed again by building a large canal and relocated further north. The new estuary has been east of Eraclea since then , while the old course of the river has been preserved as a navigable waterway. At the same time, the Sile was diverted in such a way that it no longer flows into the lagoon, but its water could be channeled into the Piave. However, a few years later the dam on this canal proved too weak when it was damaged. The waters of the Sile flooded the area, and a new freshwater lake was created between the towns of Bagaggiolo and Ca 'Tron. This area could only be drained later by building new sewers so that it could be used for agriculture.

Significance in the First World War

Removal k. u. k. and Italian wounded on the field railway on the Piave, August 18, 1918.

During the First World War , the lower reaches (the part of the river after leaving the mountains) formed the new front line from November 1917 after the Twelfth Isonzo Battle, which was successful for the Austro-Hungarian army . An attempt by the k. u. k. Armed forces to break through the Italian front with a new offensive from June 15, 1918 , failed with heavy losses (see Piave battles ). The major attack by the Allies in the Piave region on October 24, 1918 led to the collapse of the southwestern front and the military catastrophe of the k. u. k. Army in Veneto (at Vittorio Veneto , see Battle of Vittorio Veneto ) and at the conclusion of the armistice at Villa Giusti near Padua .

Ernest Hemingway on the Piave

Ernest Hemingway stayed on the Piave towards the end of the First World War. On July 8, 1918, a bomb hit the k. u. k. Army next to him while he delivered chocolate, cigarettes and postcards to the soldiers. Later, when he wanted to help a wounded man, he was shot and taken to a hospital in Milan. He dealt with his experiences at the front in the novel In Another Land , published in 1929 .

Viticulture in the Piave region

The Piave wine region, which belongs to the Veneto and the province of Treviso, and the wines produced here enjoy the protection of a "controlled designation of origin " - DOC wines.


  • Adriano Augusto Michieli: Il Piave. Tipografia Benetta, Belluno 1966
  • Matteo Fiori, Renzo Franzin, Sergio Reolon: Il conflitto dell'acqua Il caso Piave. CIERRE Edizioni, 2000
  • Michele Zanetti: Il Piave fiume vivente - Ambience, flora e fauna del basso corso fluviale. EDICICLO, 1995

Web links

Commons : Piave river  - collection of images, videos and audio files