World War I enthusiasts


Monte Grappa and the World War I memorials

History enthusiasts from all over the world are drawn to our area because it was also the unfortunate scene of some of the most harrowing episodes of the first world war. Signs of that period can still be clearly seen in our area, and allow all who are passing through, enthusiasts or not, to spare a thought for those tragic events. We’d now like to indicate some sites in the Monte Grappa area that shouldn’t be missed in order to delve into our history.

  • Monte Grappa Italian and Austrian military memorial

This is one of the main military ossuaries of the first world war, right on the summit of Monte Grappa. The war left many cemeteries in the area, and afterwards, during the era of fascism, it was decided to unite them in a single site. The memorial is built with a columbarium motif typical of the period.

  • Military memorial + the river Piave, Nervesa della Battaglia

This is also a very large military memorial, built in Nervesa della Battaglia during the era of fascism in typical Rationalist style. The numbers are surprising: it contains 6,099 niches plus some common graves with unidentified remains (3,226).

On the third floor you can see objects found while it was being built, including 250 unexploded grenades and many objects from the Italian army. From here you can see the course of the river Piave, the scene of some terrible battles. You can also visit a small monument here dedicated to Francesco Baracca, the World War I ace fighter pilot from Lugo di Romagna.

  • Bassano del Grappa

Bassano is like an open-air museum of the Great War: take a stroll along its historic old bridge and visit the museum of the Alpini [Italian Mountain Infantry], which presents the history of the bridge, the city and the wars. While strolling through history, you’ll surely also find time to taste the famous grappa and visit the Poli grappa museum.

  • Vittorio Emanuele III Tunnel Monte Grappa

On Monte Grappa, to the right of the Milano Barracks, to be more precise, you will find the entrance to the Vittorio Emanuele III Tunnel. The tunnel, 5 km long, was created to halt the advance of the Austro-Hungarian army. It is located beneath the Cima Grappa Memorial, and is 3 m in height and from 1.80 m to 2.50 m in width. It is an impressive work, capable of holding 15,000 men, 72 cannons and 70 machine guns, which could fire from both sides of the mountain. Today, half of it is open to visitors, who should come suitably prepared for the cold, damp and darkness.

  • Monte Palon trenches Monte Grappa

Relive history with a visit to the trenches, along the pathway from the refuge to the peak of Mount Palon, where there are 1,000 m of trenches and 300 m of tunnels. Here you can also visit several barracks and emplacements where soldiers lived during the First World War. This mountain was an important observation point overlooking the eastern front on the Grappa massif.

  • The Grappa trenches

Also on Monte Grappa, you can find a history and nature trail with trenches in the locality of Col Campeggia. In Romano d’Ezzelino you will find the “gateway of entry” with a large memorial to the fallen and the shrine of the Madonna del Grappa.

  • Pederobba French memorial

This site preserves the remains of 1,000 French soldiers. This large memorial, which resembles a rocky wall, is a memorial to the young Frenchmen who were killed on Mount Tomba and along the river Piave.

  • Scenic road between the Piave and Montello

This road, which is ideal for cyclists, is famous for its splendid panorama of the Piave valley. You can find all possible itineraries for combining the discovery of history with sport here. http://turismo.provincia.treviso.it/Engine/RAServeFile.php/f/Itinerari/ciclo_broch.pdf

  • Fagarè della Battaglia Military Memorial

This memorial is located near the right bank of the Piave, close to the bend where the Battle of the Solstice was fought. More than 10,000 soldiers are laid to rest here, both named and unknown. The memorial, which was built in the 1930s, can be seen from the road between Treviso and Oderzo. You can also see some war memorabilia discovered in the area. Parts of the memorial were destroyed by the Nazis during the Second World War, although some bas-reliefs were preserved, probably hidden by the caretaker until the day of liberation.

  • Isola dei Morti [Island of the Fallen] monumental nature area Moriago della Battaglia

Discover the events of the Piave by visiting Isola dei Morti, between Montello and Moriago della Battaglia. The island gets its name from the thousands of lifeless bodies of Italians found here after the final battle. The stone pyramid you will see is from the 1920s. A Sanctuary dedicated to the Madonna was also built here after World War II. A sculpture by Mario Balliana was installed in the 1990s.

  • Pian dea Bala

Another suggestion for those who want to combine nature, scenic views and history is a visit to the history and nature ring called the Boccaor mule trial, which links Pian di Bala, Archeson and Meatte.

  • Asiago plateau

The last suggestion, a little further away but worth a visit, is the Asiago plateau, site of the Battle of Asiago in 1916, a true massacre, with 230,545 casualties and losses.

Last but not least, built recently in Montebelluna. Here are some useful sites where you can find information to plan your World War I tours on Monte Grappa and its surroundings.