Some time ago, I read about, and saw photos of, a military ossary on Mount Grappa, above Bassano del Grappa. I was seized with the desire to see this monument, if I possibly could.
I found there was no public transport to the memorial, the only options were: hire a car or hire a taxi. I found it would be a more reasonable option to use a taxi for the 20-some kilometers of winding mountain road.
I hummed and hawed my way through a sandwich and orange juice in Bassano del Grappa, then I thought “”Well come on, woman. You want to see this, and you’ll be so sorry to be so close and not go.” For once, I listened to myself, and I’m so glad I did.
The gentleman who drove me up there knew a lot about the history of military action in the Grappa Mountains, so the time passed quickly.
Soon, we were in snow country, and still had a long way to go.
As we climbed higher, the clouds began to gather and thicken. I was worried it would be completely closed in at the top.
We finally got there, after countless hairpin bends (thank goodness I didn’t take the rent a car option.)
To reach the monument and see the series of graded semicircular ossaries that make up a major part of this monument, there was nothing for it but to gird my loins and climb through that snow to the peak of the hill. My boots are not made for snow travel .. they have no grip whatsoever, so it was a slip and slide climb.
My photos are disappointing, it was dark and cloudy, and the size and scope of this military memorial site just couldn’t be captured. The snow also hid the architectural features of the monument.
After the First World War, many bodies were scattered through the mountains. 10,295 Austro-Hungarian bodies were found and are interred here. 12,615 Italian bodies are also at rest here, with 2,2831 identified.
The monument was begun in 1932, and inaugurated 22 September 1935.
If you can go there in July-August, you may gain an appreciation of the compelling beauty of this memorial.
There are some good photos on this site, please take time to look, and to pay your respects.