The Great War in the Dolomites
The Dolomites are a mountain range located in northeastern Italy. During the First World War, the front line between the Italian and Austro-Hungarian forces ran through the Dolomites and there was fierce mine warfare. There are now open-air war museums at Cinque Torri (Five Towers) and Mount Lagazuoi. Many people visit the Dolomites to climb the vie ferrate, protected paths created during the First World War.
”The Dolomite mountains have become a legend and will be remembered not only for the blood that was shed there, but for the kind of warfare that was engaged: it did not set anonymous armies against each other as it did on the Russian Front – it was a war of man-against-man that valued heroic individual actions.
In addition, the idle moments that soldiers were forced to undergo because of the extreme conditions and severe winters in the high mountains provided time to study the adversary who – during the pauses between one battle and another – sometimes assumed a human face: conversations between “enemies” – the exchange of cigarettes, letters, Christmas wishes – are now the stuff of legends.” (L. Palla)