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HISTORICAL – CULTURAL PATHS: THE GREAT WAR

A touching itinerary between Slovenia and Italy through the most significant sceneries of the First World War. Experienced guides will accompany you in the discover of the places symbol of the Isonzo Front: Caporetto and Tomino with their museums and sanctuary, Redipuglia with the imposing shrine (the biggest in Italy), Mount S. Michele with the visible ruins of the trenches, of a camp hospital and of the command galleries, San Martino del Carso and its surroundings which inspired some of the most moving and vivid poems written by Giuseppe Ungaretti who fought personally in these places.

“At 2 p.m. Italians started shooting with an enormous calibre and in less than nothing they totally destroyed our altitude line. The rest hit us at 4 p.m.; the first grenade exploded at about 10 mt. right in front of our cover. It arrived howling and with its explosion almost stunned and buried us with a shower of stones. But what a luck! None of my men was seriously injured. The second arrived as we started to breath again, it centred the rock right behind our station, the one after ended left, than another one right behind us. Even before having the chance to take a decision under that never ending hail made of grenades and shrapnel the next shot arrived…

A bulls eye hit the 2nd and the 3rd squad of my platoon, where I was too, it had effectiveness also on the nearby Hullanz platoon. All of them were thrown on the ground, a choking smoke filled up our throats. Stones, men, backpacks, rifles whirled in the air and crashed back on the ground with an unbelievable noise. 10 men a bit earlier willing fighters, eager for combat, were now a meat blob”.

A very intense passage read on the book “L’inferno di pietra” (“The hell of stone”) written by Wilhelm Czermak. On this book is quoted a part of the diary of the cadet Josef Brüll, which explains with an extreme realism how it was to be under the fire of the artillery and more precisely under the hard hits of the 280mm Italian grenades.

The Carso is an open museum, every stone, every corner, every trench, everything has a story to tell, of simple life, of war, of a tragic past impossible to forget. Remembering is a must.

From the shrine of Redipuglia to the Great War Museum, from Mount San Michele to San Martino del Carso, from the Isonzo river to “Quota” 85, where Enrico Toti was injured, then walking between the trenches, riding a bicycle between the bare paths of Carso or comfortably driving a car, it’s hard to make a choice. Here the individual memory of war becomes collective until passing national boundaries regardless of flags, discovering this sad but fascinating glimpse of local history and culture, heritage of a whole nation at the same time.

Hints for your holidays

1st Day: MONFALCONE - GORIZIA - MONFALCONE

Arrival to Europalace Hotel**** and rooms allocation. Transfer by pullman and short visit of the city of Gorizia: walk up to the Castle, Great War Museum, Transalpina Railway Station. Return to the hotel, dinner. Free time.

2nd day: MONFALCONE - MOST NA SOCI - TOLMIN - KOBARID – MONFALCONE

Breakfast at the Hotel, 8.45 a.m. transfer to Slovenia destination Most Na Soci, visit of the small Isonzo Front Museum, walk down to the lake and visit of Archeological Museum. Transfer to Tolmin, along the banks of Isonzo River to the Park of Triglav. Visit of the Austrian Cemetery and of German Shrine with possibility of excursions along the banks of Isonzo River. Transfer to Kobarid, lunch around 1.00 p.m. in a typical farm where tourists can eat local produce. In the afternoon visit to the Museum of War, (awarded in 1993 as best European Museum) then climb to the Shrine and Sanctuary of Sant'Antonio (one of the most important military shrines in  Europe). Then historical naturalistic ramble between the trenches of war to the torrent falls. Return to the hotel, dinner Free time. Those interested can go to Nova Gorica and spend the night at the Casinò.

3rd day: MONFALCONE - SAN MICHELE - SAN MARTINO – REDIPUGLIA

Breakfast at the Hotel, 8.30 transfer by pullman destination Peteano, 9.00 meeting with the guide and climb to Mount San Michele along the military fortification. Continuing with the itinerary the group will reach San Martino to go then to The Battles Area, to Filippo Corridori Stone and to Trench of Frasche. Stop for the lunch in a local Rural Park. In the afternoon walk along a cart track which brings up to Mount Sei Busi where can be seen the remains of the Fortified Trench dug during The Great War and where an entire battle field was re-built with sentinels, cheval-de-frise and barbed wire fences. Arrival to the Dolina of 500 (also called Dolina of 15th Bersaglieri), where the remains of a camp hospital, of a mass grave and of the Commander Gallery are still evident and can be visited. Transfer to Redipuglia for visiting the biggest italian Shrine where the corpses of 100thousend fallen soldiers, the grave of Duca d' Aosta and the Historic-Military Museum "Casa 111 Armata" are. Return to the hotel, dinner. Free time.

4th : MONFALCONE - MONTE SANTO - GORIZIA - MONFALCONE

Breakfast at the Hotel, 8.30 transfer by pullman destination Slovenia. Transit close to the Stone Bridge of Solkan (the bridge with the highest stone arch in the world) then climb to Mount Santo-Vodice. Visit of the majestic basilica, Franciscan Friary (the Slovenian most important piligrimage site) and of Isonzo front museum collection. The wonderful landscape offered by Alps Giulie and Mount Matajur take the breath away. After that, walk to the emplacements of Isonzo front. Transfer to Gorizia, a few hours for visiting the city and for some shopping. Packed lunch. Meeting time around 15.30. Return to the Hotel.

Suggested period: From March to November.

Clothing: suitable for trekking or sportswear at least.




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