At the end of August of 1916, Giuseppe Ungaretti, on the battlefields of the Karst, delivered what he considered to be his "spiritual haversack" to the young lieutenant Ettore Serra. It contained little scraps of paper, the edges of newspapers and the blank spaces of the letters he had received, on which he had written poems during the months of war.

The intention of the poet infantryman was to entrust the lieutenant, he had met - in Versa in spring of 1916 - and with whom he had immediately become close friends, with all the poems he had written in the period previous to that, spent on the front lines on Mount San Michele and on the Karst above Sagrado or during the recovery periods spent in the nearby villages of Versa and Mariano.
Ettore Serra, himself a poet, loved Ungaretti's poems. Being profoundly touched by the force and originality of the verses he offered his fellow soldier, at his own expense, to publish them by the Stabilimento Tipografico Friulano di Udine publishers, and immediately becomes active. The first collection by Ungaretti was published in December 1916, in eighty copies, under the title "Il porto sepolto" ("The Buried Harbour") and includes the poems he wrote in a year, as the poet would state: "starting from the first day in the trench which was Christmas Day of 1915, I was on Mount San Michele on the Karst".

The ancient villa of Castelnuovo and the entire Castelvecchio Estate in Sagrado - now mainly cultivated with vineyard - is located on the grounds where the first Battles of the Isonzo were fought, and therefore the battlefields where Giuseppe Ungaretti served as a soldier.
The land surrounding the historical villa that was the headquarters of the Italian Military Command for a brief period, still bears the traces and marks of those fierce battles, and in the villa itself only recently, graffiti left behind by the soldiers on the front were discovered.

The poet Andrea Zanzotto, a friend and favourite pupil of Ungaretti's, in the preface of a book, by Lucio Fabi, regarding the war experience of the soldier poet, recently wrote: "Particularly interesting is the precise indication of the various sites where many of the poems by Ungaretti were written and also the notes of the war itineraries help better understand the work of this poet. Who will visit these sites cannot but sense the still burning and painful experience and therefore understand the life lesson offered by Ungaretti".

The "Il porto sepolto" Park is the first in Italy to be dedicated to Giuseppe Ungaretti. It was conceived and directed by Gianfranco Trombetta with the collaboration of Associazione Amici di Castelnuovo, Mirella and Leopoldo Terraneo and sponsored by Regione Friuli Venezia Giulia. The Park has the purpose of suggesting its visitors a memorial and meditation path thanks to the early verses of the poet and through the sites that were the theatre of the terrible war tragedy; now finally turned back into a peaceful place where industrious people work in a spectacular natural environment of exceptional beauty.

The Park – whose architectural project was designed by Arch. Paolo Bornello – includes the realization of several paths in addition to the existing ones and the creation of three small architectural areas, called the Tower, the Sacred Enclosure, and the Sacrarium, made of raw materials (iron, stone, wood). The poems located inside the Park come from “Vita di un uomo” (Life of a Man) wrote by Giuseppe Ungaretti and kindly granted by the heiress and the publishing house Mondadori. The new settings perfectly fit in the original structure of the park, the ancient Villa and the Barchessa without changing the harmony of this land.

Not only a journey of history, poetry, and architecture but also art. Inside the Park there are in fact the life-size bronze statue of the young poet made by Paolo Annibali located at the beginning of the Park to welcome the visitors, and the portrait of an older Ungaretti on a brassy slab realized by Franco Dugo.

Il Parco - Il Progetto Architettonico

Il Parco - Il Progetto Architettonico

Il Parco - Il Progetto Architettonico

Il Parco - Il Progetto Architettonico

Il Parco - Il Progetto Architettonico