Italy During The First World War

Italy During The First World War

Battles in the Mountains and Clouds

Battlefield ToursHistory

16th - 21st September 2020
(6 Days)

Guide : Major Gordon Corrigan MBE

Tour price: £1,975

click here to book

Italy During The First World War

Battles in the Mountains and Clouds

Battlefield ToursHistory

Your Holiday Essentials

16th - 21st September 2020
(6 Days)

Includes return flights from London Gatwick, 3 & 4 star hotels, buffet breakfast, picnic lunches, 3-course dinner with drinks each evening, all entrance fees and expert guide throughout.

Activity Level: 2

Guide: Major Gordon Corrigan MBE

Tour price: £1,975

Single supplement: £135
Deposit: £200
Price without flights: £1,875

Selling fast

click here to book

Interested in this tour but not ready to book? Register your interest using the link below and we will keep you updated on the progress of the tour.

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Tour Introduction

Set amongst some spectacular mountain scenery, these infrequently visited battlefields have changed little over the years. You will marvel at many of the precarious and exposed positions occupied by both sides and visit many of the ingenious caverns and tunnels that were built for warmth and protection during the severe winters. A sure highlight will be the short, but breathtaking walk along the Grenadier’s Path hewn out of and into the sides of Monte Cengio (although there is a nearby café with fantastic views for the faint-hearted). The contrast with the topography of the Western Front is remarkable; from rain and wind swept trenches built in chalk and mud, imagine trenches carved out of rock to protect against snow, ice and avalanche. Today the area over which these battles were fought straddles the border between Italy and Slovenia and we shall enjoy some of the best hospitality and cuisine that both these countries have to offer.

Background

Whilst the Italians prevaricated over whether to join the Entente powers in their struggle against the Central powers, the Austro-Hungarians set about fortifying their Alpine borders. When Italy finally decided to take up arms, the only really practical terrain to take the fight to the enemy was along the River Isonzo, where she made as many as 11 major attempts to drive through the Ljubljana Gap until they were finally thwarted by the spectacular Austrian counter-offensive at Caporetto (where a young German Officer called Erwin Rommel earned his spurs). This resulted, in late 1917, in the arrival of five British and six French divisions around Asiago to bolster the realigned Italian positions. This small force was to play a disproportional role in repelling the last Austro-Hungarian thrust on the Piave in June 1918 and spearheaded the pursuit during the final battle of Vittorio Veneto, assisting the Italians in their ‘land grab’ before the end of the war.

Highlights

  • Gaze down on the Isonzo Valley from the San Michelle Heights
  • Visit trenches and bunkers carved out of the mountainside
  • Walk the astounding Grenadier’s Mule track carved into the edge of Monte Cengio
  • Enjoy magnificent breath-taking Alpine scenery
  • With expert historian Maj Gordon Corrigan MBE

"A wonderful tour, great chemistry between Gordon and tour manager. They provided unique knowledge of both culture and historical knowledge"

Itinerary

Day 1 - Gorizia

Fly London Gatwick to Venice. Drive to Gorizia in the Isonzo Valley and check in to our hotel for one night. Welcome drinks and evening lecture on ‘Italy and the First World War’.

Day 2 - Isonzo

We examine the battles of the Isonzo and from the commanding heights of Monte San Michele we gain magnificent views over the river valley and right down to the Adriatic. We explore the remains of many of the trenches and tunnels that riddle the position and visit the museum. We descend the heights to take lunch in the heart of the 3rd Army battlefield park at Redipuglia before crossing the border into Slovenia and travelling northwards to Kobarid (Caporetto) where we check in to our hotel for two nights.

Day 3 - Caporetto

After visiting the excellent museum of the battle in Kobarid, we follow the path of oberleutnant Erwin Rommel, commanding a company of mountain troops, on his way to winning the Pour le Merite in the Battle of Caporetto. In the afternoon we visit the trenches and tunnels of the Italian defence line, which are still remarkably well preserved.

Day 4 - Asiago

We take the morning to drive to the Asiago area, and in particular Monte Cengio, which was held to the last man by the Sardinian Grenadiers in June 1916. From here we gain superb views of the Astico Valley, on a good day as far as Venice. The more agile will have the opportunity to walk (level 3) a section of the stunning Grenadier mule track, exploring its numerous gun positions, caverns and magnificent viewpoints. Thence to our hotel in Asiago where we check-in for two nights.

Day 5 - Asiago

Today we ascend the Asiago Plateau to which the Austrians' believed the British were ‘clinging by their fingertips’. We’ll visit Tattenham Corner, walk along the San Sisto Ridge to explore trenches, dressing stations and bunkers and visit Granezza cemetery where we find the grave of Edward Brittain, MC, brother of Vera BrittaIn. This afternoon we drive to the former Austro-Hungarian border fortress perched upon Monte Belvedere to enjoy outstanding views and its numerous period exhibitions and displays.

Day 6 - The Piave

After examining the Battle of Nervessa, the Austrians last throw of the dice, which was largely thwarted by the newly formed RAF, we follow the British to the crossing of the River Piave in the final advance of the war in Italy. Thence to Venice and our return flight to London Gatwick.

Recommended Reading List

Photo Gallery

  • Italian Line Of Defence
  • Italian Trenches
  • Asiago Plateau
  • Barenthal Cemetery

Your Holiday Essentials

16th - 21st September 2020
(6 Days)

Includes return flights from London Gatwick, 3 & 4 star hotels, buffet breakfast, picnic lunches, 3-course dinner with drinks each evening, all entrance fees and expert guide throughout.

Activity Level: 2

Guide: Major Gordon Corrigan MBE

Tour price: £1,975

Single supplement: £135
Deposit: £200
Price without flights: £1,875

Selling fast

click here to book

Interested in this tour but not ready to book? Register your interest using the link below and we will keep you updated on the progress of the tour.

click here to register your interest

Tour Review

View our Italy in WW1 Tour Gallery 2017 tour gallery here

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