The Monte Grappa Massif among history and museums
Monte Grappa, with its steep mountainsides and its high crests, is tied to the history of World War I. As crucial front line after the Caporetto Defeat in 1917, it became the site of the war's turnabout. Because of the resistance by the Italian Army, the Austro-Hungarian Empire was forced to reinforce the number of its troops on the territory, thus weakening the positions held on the River Piave. These positions were defeated in 1918 during the Battle of Vittorio Veneto. The mountain still carries scars and testimonies of that war: it is of paramount importance to preserve the memory of those tragic events. At Cima Grappa the Military Sacrarium (“Ossario”) holds the mortal remains of 23000 soldiers from both armies. Next to Ossario del Monte Grappa are the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele III, a masterpiece of military engineering, and the Museum. To celebrate the 100 years Memorial of the Great War many trenches have been recently restored and can be found in all sectors of the Grappa Massif. War cemeteries and monuments are spread all along the Pedemontana and beyond.
First World War on Monte Grappa
The disseminated Museum
To the tourist or hiker who has an interest in history, the Monte Grappa landscape offers kilometers of warpaths, walkways, trenches and mule tracks all along the mountainsides of the massif. Following the aim of preserving the historic memory, many old warpaths and trenches have been restored to value the area that, for at least one year, was the real front line of World War I on Monte Grappa.
Thanks to long historical research and the retrieval of manufactured wartime objects, part of the Project “Il Museo diffuso del Grappa, del Brenta e del Piave”, it is now possible to trace back the frontline of World War I on Monte Grappa. It is along this front line that soldiers from all parts of the world lived and died while entrenched only a few meters away from each other.
Nowadays, wondering across the altitudes of Grappa Massif to the lower mountains (Monte Palon, Monfenera, Monte Asolone, Meatte), from the beginning of the Valsugana Valley (river Brenta) to the Belluno slopes, visitors cross particularly interesting places immersed in an enchanting natural landscape. The visitor can choose among several itinerary options, that differ widely in length and level of difficulty. Information panels are placed in different locations, thus helping the tourist, guiding and informing him over historical facts.
The project has developed the theme of the Great War, starting from the stories of the many young men that came to fight on these lands. It has developed thanks to the cooperation among the people who, during the Great War, confronted themselves as enemies; the ultimate goal of the project is to underline the importance of peace.
For History Enthusiast, here is a reminder of the events that made the history of this territory:
- The Deadlock Battle (November 14-27)
- The Defensive Battle (November 28 – December 31, 1917)
- The Offensive Battle (January 1 – 31 October 1918)
- Second World War
THE SMALL MUSEUM 1915-1918 “ROBERTO FAVERO”
Via Collalto, 28 - 36020 - Solagna - Loc. San Giovanni - Monte Grappa - At Albergo San Giovanni
Tel. +39 0424 556008
Via Collalto, 28 - 36020 - Solagna - Loc. San Giovanni - Monte Grappa - At Albergo San Giovanni Tel. +39 0424 556008
In the showcases are displayed uniforms, helmets, badges, personal objects and other memorabilia that belonged to troops of any nationalities who were here during the war.
THE MONTE ASOLONE WAR MUSEUM
Km. 19 strada Cadorna - Val dea Giara Pove del Grappa - Loc. Monte Asolone - Monte Grappa (VI) Tel. +39 0424 559000
The Museum is situated inside the Baita Monte Asolone. Here you can find objects that belonged to soldiers of any European armies: military supplies and tools self-made by the soldiers. The Museum offers a program of visits to the battle fields and conferences about socio-cultural themes.
MUSEUM OF “RECUPERANTI”
Piazza IV Novembre - 36020 Carpanè di San Nazario Tel. + 39 0424 99906
The Museum was set up as a reminder to the epic efforts of the “recuperanti” those who, over the decades, collected war objects and preserved them; the Mountaineer Community of Brenta set it up after purchasing a private collection and later enriched it through donations both from associations and private benefactors.
TERRITORIAL CIVIC AND HISTORIC MUSEUM OF CAMPO ALANO DI PIAVE
Via Don Nilo Mondin, Campo, Alano di Piave (BL) Secretary Tel. 0439.779018 – Guided Tours Tel. 0423.86232
This two-story Museum is home to periodical “themed” expositions and activities about the Great War and about the role of the “recuperanti” (people keen on recovering war objects).
THE ALPINI MUSEUM
Via Angarano 2 - Bassano del Grappa (VI) Tel: +39 0424 503662
Inside the Museum you can see interesting historical findings about the World War and the Resistance, most of them regarding the feats of the Alpini Army Corp.
Trenches and posts of war
MONUMENTAL AREA CIMA GRAPPA
Tel. +39 0423 544840
The monumental area includes: - The Military “Ossario”, built between 1925 and 1935, which hosts the remains of over 12,500 Italian and 10,000 Austro-Hungarian soldiers fallen during the war. On the summit is the “Madonnina del Grappa”, from which the Path of the Heroes starts leading to the Portal of Rome, the first monumental entrance to the shrine. Caserma Milano displays many vestiges collected on the Grappa massif. The Gallery Vittorio Emanuele III runs under the mountain summit. Rifugio Bassano, which originally stood where the shrine is today, was rebuilt in 1935. Inside there are photographic memories of the war on Grappa. In the Austro-Hungarian part of the shrine is a tomb surrounded by mystery and legends: the tomb of Soldier Peter Pan.
Tel. +39 0424 556008
Col Moschin was attacked at dawn of June 16, 1918 and conquered to the Austrians in just ten minutes, resulting in the capture of 300 prisoners. To celebrate the episode, the city of Rome built a Roman column and placed it on the top of the Col Moschin hill. Nearby, you can also visit a defense line of the First World War restored for educational purposes; along the route, signs report facts regarding war events and describe how the trenches were built.
Solagna - Loc. Camposolagna – Monte Grappa
Tel. +39 0424 524351
Campeggia was the location of the Tactical Command of the IX Armed Forces. Placed at an altitude of 1100 meters on the last slopes southwest of the massif, it played an important logistical role. Since 1992, the site has been revived. Part of the trenches and the "observatory" tunnel were restored; panels were added to describe the living and working conditions of the soldiers.
COL DEL GALLO
Solagna – Loc. Valsotta – Monte Grappa
Tel. +39 0424 524351
At Malga Col del Gallo there is a number of interesting trenches that were excavated and used by Italian soldiers as the second defensive line of the Colli Alti - Asolone - Coston.
CAMPO DE ROA AND PONTE SAN LORENZO
Solagna e Pove del Grappa - Loc. Camposolagna – Monte Grappa
Tel. +39 0424 524351
Today, it is possible to visit 65 meters of galleries and see shelters, hackles and a howitzer used by the soldiers.
MERLO MILITARY POST
Tel. 0424 524351
Here, visitors can discover some World War I sites recently recovered by the municipal administration. After just a few minutes of walking, a first series of linked galleries can be explored, with their lateral branches, windows, slots and observation points, surprisingly impressive in their length.
AREA VALSUGANA AND CANALE DI BRENTA FORTS
Cismon del Grappa
Tel. +39 0424 92145 - Cell. +39 338 8308984
The widespread museum called "Buttistone Covolo Museum and Other Defensive Systems of the Valley" includes the museum building, the Covolo di Butistone, some fortified structures built before the Great War, the Tagliata di Primolano and Fort Tombion.
Cismon del Grappa Loc. Forcelletto - Monte Grappa
Tel. 0424 524351
Near the historically relevant place known as “La Svolta" (“The Turning Point”) is the altar of the Arditi and the monument dedicated to General Ettore Viola, who distinguished himself during the defense of Mount Grappa to the point of being nicknamed the “Ardito del Grappa” (“Intrepid of Grappa”). A few meters away are the two rocks dividing the positions of opposing Italian and Austrian sentries.