A morning in Barbana
Imagine landing, early one morning, on the island of Barbana, in the Grado Lagoon, where a sanctuary dedicated to the Madonna is said to have been build after the Holy Mary gave a sign of her presence through an image found here in the 6th century.
Imagine the effigy of the Virgin as it floated in the water after a violent sea storm that threatened the whole area, at a time when the lagoon still did not exist and Barbana was joint to Grado: it was a prodigy that inspired the construction of a number of churches, until the sanctuary was finally built in the 18th century.
Imagine that. A great Friuli writer of the 19th century, Caterina Percoto, can help envision the scene with her short story “The Friend”, set right here on Barbana:
“That morning, no one had yet crossed the grass, which was wet with nighttime dew and was starting to raise and shiver under the early sunlight:”
“The gulf below the mountain was all in the shade, almost until Trieste – which appeared far away behind a veil of light fog, while the lagoon stretched out towards the west like a vast, shiny mirror, lighting up the green isles in the estuary, the Grado bell tower and all the tallest buildings…”
Welcome to Barbana.