Obbedisco! Garibaldi in Valle di Ledro

Valle di Ledro is known for the Battle of Bezzecca, in which the Italian national hero Garibaldi took part. It was in Bezzecca that he pronounced his famous answer: ‘Obbedisco’ (i.e. I obey).


Halfway through the 19th century Italy was still divided among many regional states. A unified Kingdom of Italy was created in 1861 under the rule of the King of Piedmont-Sardinia. Nonetheless Venetia was still under the rule of Austria. The Italian-speaking region of Trentino, to which Valle di Ledro belonged, was part of the County of Tyrol, which was under the rule of the Hapsburgs as well. The Italians wanted to conquer both regions.

Garibaldi is known in Italy as ‘L’eroe dei due mondi’ (i.e. The Hero of the Two World). He was born in Nice when it was still part of the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia. Because of his republican ideals he got into trouble with the law. He emigrated to South America where he fought for the independence of Uruguay. That is why he is known as Hero of the Two Worlds. After his return to Italy he became part of the movement for national unification (‘Risorgimento’, i.e. Resurgence). He was often at odds with the King for his republican ideals. In 1860 he sailed with a few volunteers to conquer Sicily. This enterprise is known as ‘Spedizione dei mille’ (i.e. Expedition of the Thousand). He was thereafter celebrated as a national hero.

In 1866 the Third Italian War of Independence began. Its main aim was to annex Venetia and Trentino. Although the Italians were military unsuccessful, they managed to obtain Venetia thanks to the help of Prussia and France.

The only military success of the Italians happened in Trentino, and more precisely in Valle di Ledro. During the invasion of Trentino, the Italian volunteers were led by Garibaldi himself. As the Garda region was too well fortified, the only viable way to enter Trentino was through the Giudicarie and Valle di Ledro. The decisive battle between the Italian and Austrian troops took place in Bezzecca on 21 July 1866. Although there were more dead, more wounded and more prisoners among the Italians than the Austrians, the Italians reached their goal of weakening the Austrian positions. The Austrians on the other hand could not expel the Italians from Valle di Ledro as they had intended to do. 


The numbers of the Battle of Bezzecca


Austrian Empire

Kingdom of Italy


Franz Kuhn von Kuhnenfeld

Giuseppe Garibaldi





25 dead
82 wounded

100 dead
250 wounded
1100 prisoners

On 12 August 1866 the armistice between Austria and Italy came into force. Garibaldi was thus ordered to leave Trentino and to renounce to the invasion. To this order he simply answered ‘Obbedisco’ (i.e. I obey). This word has turned into a well known and used phrase in Italian. Trentino remained part of Tyrol and of Austria until the end of the First World War, another huge event which shaped the history of Valle di Ledro.

In 2016 the 150th anniversary of the battle was celebrated with many events.

The first floor of the small museum in Bezzecca is dedicated to Garibaldi and the Battle of Bezzecca. On the Colle ci Santo Stefano there are several memorials and plaques from the battle to be seen.



Saturday 18 December - Sunday 19 December

Friday, December 24

Sunday, December 26th

opening hours: 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

free admission (admission with Green Pass)



Lungassat Salvator Greco – Bezzecca



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



Colle Santo Stefano - Bezzecca


10.00 - 13.00 / 15.00 - 18.00
closed on Monday


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

La valle di Ledro

What you can find at Lake Ledro and surroundings

> Lago di Garda 15Km
> Utrecht 1100Km

> Milan 200Km
> Verona 90Km

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