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In the city of Trento in Italy, is a remarkable hilltop. It is used as a memorial for the Alpine Regiment, the “Alpini”, who fought their battles in the Italian mountains; the Alps and the Dolomites.
A huge statue welcomes you at the gateway to the top. It resembles the troops with different outfits and weapons. Next to it are multiple columns with eagles on top. At the entrance road to the hilltop there is a map with the layout of the hilltop. Driving up the hill we saw this beautiful sculpture on the roadside while driving through a cave.
We parked the car and walked to the memorial grounds. On the way you’ll see lots of reminders of the Alpine Troops, a food can stone platter and mosaic edelweiss, a little reminder of my missing pall here, it was my vacation with the family.
Piazza Giuseppe Perrucchetti
The view on Trento between the mountains is stunning, and it looks like there is a deserted factory on the foot of the hill.
About 100 meters down the road is Piazza Giuseppe Perrucchetti. A public square dedicated to Guiseppe Perrucchetti, who lived between 1839 and 1916. He was the founder of the Alpini corps, the Italian Alpine corps, specialized in mountain warfare.
A little bit further up the mountainside is a church with an enormous cross on the side. At this point, close to the hilltop, you are looking over a meadow. A classical style memorial towers over the field. In front of it is an artillery battery, consisting 4 pieces of 105 mm Schneider guns.
I took my time at the gun battery and did my best to take some detailed pictures for the modelling fans.
After entering the memorial you’ll read the text, “Agli Alpini D’Italia” with means “For the Alpine troops”.
A shrine in the honor of Ceasar Battisi is the next object in the room. Ceasar Battisti, born in Trento was a politician who fought in WWI with the Alpine Corps. It received a special place in the memorial. Beside a memorial stone with text, there is a sculpture of him as well.
Unfortunately the stairs to the top of the memorial were closed, but it would have been a good view of the surrounding out there.
I took some more pictures of the memorial and the guns and left for the museum.
We crossed some ancient foundations on top of the hill. I haven’t found out what they where though, could be of the Roman Empire, a medieval church. We crossed tracks with a nice blue beetle as well. I do not think it has anything related to the First World War….. well you never know.
Museum Storico Delle Truppe Alpine
Foundation Alp Acropolis – Historical Museum of the Alpine Corps it reads on the entrance of the museum. It is dedicated to “Le Penne Nere”, or “The Black feathers”.
The origin of the “Black feathers” dates back to the year 1883. The infantry unit specialised in mountain warfare received a “flame Verdi” patch (a patch with green flames), making the corps stand out of the regular Italian Infantry. Together with their “Cappello Alpino” (alpine hat), they got a more distinctive look. The hat soon received the nickname; “bombetta”, which stands for “small bomb”.
On the Cappello Alpino hat, they wore a black and grey leather band with the black feather of a raven, which had to be carried at all times.
It is a lovely museum, free of charge, but please donate something to keep the museum going. In front of the museum entrance are some guns, a Skoda Houfnice gun (howitzer) and a Cannone DA 47/32 amongst others.
Exploring around the museum you’ll see more guns, shells and a lot more interesting objects. Noteworthy are a horse drawn car used by the mountain troops and a mortar standing right beside a field kitchen.
The inside of the museum is surprisingly well filled up with items from both world wars. Many pictures are shown from the Alpine Forces, guns, machine guns, some helmets and uniforms and more reminders of this specialized unit.
Next to a nice medal collection I saw my first “krummlauf” barrel. It didn’t belong to the famous German STG44 though. It looked more like a K98 version.
It is a nice museum with a diverse collection. In the back of the museum is a reminder for the fallen soldiers. Their names are carved in the walls. The museum itself isn’t too big though. It takes about an hour and a half of your time. Still a nice collection with items from both world wars.
Visit Museo Storico Delle Truppe Alpine
Remember you are in Italy, the museum probably closes for siesta. I don’t know if the gate to the memorial hill closes at this time as well, it doesn’t seem likely.If you like to visit the museum and the memorial, here is the museum address:
Museo Storico Delle Truppe Alpine
Via Brescia, 1
38100 Trento, Italy