The Buranelli Canal and Giovanni Comisso’s landscapes
The Buranelli Canal is named after the merchants from Burano who lived along this watercourse in the 1500s.
However, this small karst spring river in Treviso – which sometimes disappears underground and runs across the city for less than a kilometer – has other names too: Cagnan di Mezzo – or Medio –, Cagnan delle Beccherie, and Cagnan dell’Ospedale.
Whatever you want to call it, it is “one of the three branches in which the Botteniga River divides as it enters the city at the De Pria Bridge […], with its seven awesome arches, each one of which has two sluice gates (‘bòe’ in the local dialect) to regulate the river’s flow in the city” (translated from C. Pavan, “Sile. Alla scoperta del fiume”, Treviso 1989).
Along its brief course, before diving into the Sile, the Buranelli Canal is flanked by the narrow Vicolo dei Buranelli, where one of Treviso’s many poets once lived: Giovanni Comisso (1895-1969).
Comisso once wrote:
“Landscape is my sustenance: I recognize it as the source of my blood. It penetrates my eyes and increases my strength. Perhaps the reason why I have traveled around the world was nothing but a search for landscapes, which beckoned me so powerfully.”
“Perhaps I still retain some of the instinct that must have dominated emigrating races, which was simply a thirst for new and wonderful landscapes, before it even became a need for new territories to conquer. Landscapes first and foremost reveal the trace of God’s hands – so I understand how sensitive individuals may have come to claim they saw divine apparitions in the middle of the most beautiful landscapes. The other trace they show is man’s, but men also take shape and grow in relation to the landscape: they mirror it” (translated from an essay published in “Veneto Felice”, edited by Guido Piovene, Longanesi, Milan 1984).
Here is one of the beautiful landscapes Comisso knew best and loved the most.