by Manuel Pavanello
All of us at least once have asked ourselves who could be that Andrea Bafile to whom the main commercial street of Jesolo Lido is dedicated. The question spontaneously arises: what has he done to deserve so much visibility?
Andrea Bafile (1878-1918) was a Lieutenant of Vascello during the First World War and was awarded a post-mortem Gold Medal for Military Valor. His death occurred on March 12th, 1918 in Cortellazzo following a reconnaissance expedition behind enemy lines, near Revedoli. Indeed, with the help of four fellow soldiers he managed to cross the Piave river to gather information on the position of the Austro-Hungarian defences and to report them just before dying. It seems that Bafile had faced enemy fire in an attempt – successful – to save a fellow sailor who remained isolated on the enemy shore. Italian public opinion was struck by this heroic gesture to the point of assigning the M.O.V.M. as recognition.
Initially his body was buried in the military cemetery in via Ca ‘Gamba, but in the 1920s his body was moved to a special mausoleum in Guardiagrele, in his native Abruzzo.
The city of Jesolo has dedicated to this hero not only the main commercial street, but also a simple monument, yet, at the same time to great effect, in the central Piazza Brescia. It consists of a bronze bust of Andrea Bafile above a masonry base in the shape of a vessel with an anchor and a rudder. This is how Jesolo pays him homage and testifies to his presence in the city.