CULTURE

The Great War in Valle di Ledro

At the beginning of the 20th century Valle di Ledro was at the border between the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the Kingdom of Italy. When war between the two countries broke out in the Spring of 1915, the valley turned into a battleground.

Kaiserjäger and Alpini (the Austrian and Italian corps respectively) fought each other on the mountains of Valle di Ledro in the so called Guerra bianca or Gebirgskrieg (i.e. white war or mountain war). Most of them died of exposure and malnutrition rather than because of the wounds. The marks of that time are still visible on the mountains of Valle di Ledro. On the Ledro Alps, along the Great War front, runs the Sentiero della pace (i.e. Peace Path).

ITINERARIES ALONG THE TRENCHES OF THE FIRST WORLD WAR IN VALLE DI LEDRO

THE FIRST WORLD WAR IN VALLE DI LEDRO

In Dromaè, along the Sentiero austroungarico (i.e. Austro-Hungarian path), there are several Austrian trenches and barracks. Beneath Mazza di Pichea, near Galleria Riccabona, a wooden hut used by Austrian officers has been reconstructed. In Saval the ruins of the old military hospital are still visible.

The Colle di Santo Stefano, near Bezzecca, was the main base of the Italians in Valle di Ledro. The hill has been turned into an ossuary and a memorial place for the fallen of both sides. The Unknown Warrior is buried in the little church of Santo Stefano.

The Tagliata del Ponale (or Ponalesperre), for the most part on the territory of Ledro, is among the most impressive fortification systems in Europe. The construction of the Tagliata (barrier) del Ponale began in 1904. It was part of a defensive plan put in action by the Austro-Hungarian Army in the whole of Trentino. The Tagliata is a network of tunnels and passageways excavated in the rock. It starts at the height of the seventh tunnel coming up from Riva (150 m / 500 ft) and reaches down to the lake. From the road, embrasures and doors can still be seen. The Tagliata guaranteed Austria-Hungary the control of Riva throughout the First World War. Excavations did not stop until 1918.

The Bellavista battery and Fort Teodosio also served to defend the Alto Garda region. Fort Teodosio owes its name to the Roman coins dating back Emperor Theodosius’ time which have been found nearby.

The civil population of Valle di Ledro was evacuated to the central regions of the Empire, particularly to Bohemia and Moravia. On their return, they found their villages and houses destroyed. From Bohemia they brought back some dishes of the Czech tradition, such as gnocchi boemi (i.e. Bohemian dumplings) and livance (i.e. crumpets), which have continued to enrich the local cuisine to this day.

In the Garibaldi and Great War Museum there’s a section dedicated to the First World War in Valle di Ledro.

OPENING TIMES:

MUSEO GARIBALDINO

Lungassat Salvator Greco – Bezzecca

 

01/06-30/09

10.00-13.00 / 14.00-19.00
closed on Monday and Tuesday

free

OSSARIO COLLE S. STEFANO

Colle Santo Stefano - Bezzecca

01/05-30/09

10.00 - 13.00 / 15.00 - 18.00
closed on Monday

free

For further information, guided visits and extra opening times: +39 0464 508182

grande guerra




La valle di Ledro

What you can find at Lake Ledro and surroundings

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