Posted 12 April 2012 - 07:52 am
You have on hand Il Vittoriale, home of one Annunzio, of Italy's most famous writers and noted supporter of Mussolini. In the garden is one of the most unusual war memorials which consists of the prow of the battleship Puglia, rammed into the hillside. Annunzio used it in one of his independent imperialist adventures when he tried to take Fiume for the Italians.
A short distance away from Garda is the town of Rovereto which has one of the best WW1 museums anywhere. A good collection of Skoda heavy artillery and a full-scale field hospital X-ray facililty - it's the size of a small house. The main memorial to the wars in the Dolomites is just outside Rovereto on a hill called Colle de Mirivalle: it's a bell made from melted down cannons and it is rung every night.
In Trento, just up the valley, there is the Castello del Buonoconsiglio, the Austrian army HQ. It was the scene of the execution Battisti and Filzi, two of the most tragic figures of the Dolomite wars.
In the hills around Garda there are many forts, many of which are in good condition, notably Mont Pasubio. On hand there is also Sentiero dell Pace (Path of Peace)which follows the front. It is littered with spent ammunition and barbed wire. Maps available from the Tourist Office.
As an aside I have spent two holidays in Garda. It was one of the centres of the Italian Army Alpine Corps. There are occasional postings here on families' losses in WW1. The owner of the hotel in which I used to stay told me that he had five brothers in the Alpine Corps. They were drafted onto the Eastern Front. All were lost - and he didn't know where any of them were buried.