Italian Great War museums #3: Museo storico "La zona Carnia nella Grande Guerra" in Timau (Udine)

"Portatrici carniche"
in 1915
The image beside shows a group of "portatrici carniche". With this expression we usually refer to the groups of women that during the Great War walked more than 1000 meters in altitude to refill with equipment the men fighting at the mountain front of the Carnic region. Inside that typical basket called "gerla" (plural: "gerle") they were able to stuff up to 40kg (almost 90 pounds) of munitions and food. These women were recognizable thanks to a red bracelet showing the number of the regiment to which they were destined. Their age was between 15 and 60. Their salary was 1,5 lire for each trip. The story of these bearers, a special chapter of the story of women during World War One, is one of the aspects you could stumble upon while visiting the Museo storico "La zona Carnia nella Grande Guerra" in Timau di Paluzza (Udine, region of Friuli), especially in the rooms 6 and 7. In the space of this institution founded in 1994 are now gathered finds and relics belonged to the Italian and Austro-Hungarian armies, all coming from the front line called "Zona Carnia", a portion of front including Cresta Verde, Cellon, Pal Piccolo, Freikofel and Pal Grande (see also the this link). Pieces that are worth a mention are a Skoda 75/13 Gun and a smart system of mirrors used by some Austro-Hungarian crack shots, an armor for assault infantrymen (the so called Italian "arditi"). Beside of the standard or extraordinary equipment (the First World War is also a strange story of small and smart handcrafted objects "designed" at the front!), the visitors will find here a substantial collection of letters, newspapers, documents, coins, medals, stamps, postcards and photos that have not been published yet. But what makes this Italian Great War museum unique is for sure its section dedicated to the "Carnic bearers".

"La Zona Carnia nella Grande Guerra"
c/o ex Scuola Materna 
via Nazionale n. 80 - Timau di Paluzza (Udine)

Opening time
June: Saturday and Holidays 09:00-12:00 / 14:00 -18:00.
From July to September: from Tuesday to Friday 14:30 -18:30; Saturday and Holiday 09:00 - 12.00 / 14:30 -18:30. 
August: open all days 09:00 -12:00 / 15:00 -19:00.
October: Saturday and Sundays 9.00-12.00 / 14.00-18.00
Closed from November to May.
T.+39.0433.779168 - 779292
Free entrance / Access for people with disabilities

The Great War and the Moving Image (CfP)

The videogame "Commander"
inspired by the Great War
To talk about the WWI means also talking about the way we remember and represent it. It is therefore also a matter of shaping the “collective conscience”, and if we assume with Maurice Halbwachs that even the acts of memory are deeply influenced by the symbolic within a particular society, it is undeniable that visual culture played a crucial role both during and after the conflict, not lastly because of its immediate understanding and consumption. Let’s think about the illustrations in newspapers and posters or about the propaganda and the advertisement at the front and in the homeland, as the literature has already pointed out. But let’s think also about films and particularly documentaries and all other genres of moving image: which great power to influence the common view did they have? Which impact did they exert on society? How can we today seize their historical importance as human artifacts responding to special cultural, social and political needs? And last but not least, do moving images shape also our understanding of the WWI today? Which role do the new technologies play (lets’ only think about at the digitalization of documents and the possibility to share them on on-line archives)? How do we deal with them?

The topic is really important and could raise interesting questions about the relationship between past and present, the WWI and our memory of it. Therefore we are happy that some of these (in part still neglected) questions will be at the centre of an international conference of the University of Kent which will take place in April 2014. The organizers wish to discuss on all form of moving images in order to explore the complex process of popular understanding of the war and welcome both historical works and multidisciplinary approaches. You can find the text of the CfP also here.

The Great War and the Moving Image

15-16 April 2014, University of Kent, Canterbury, United Kingdom
An international conference organised by the University of Kent in conjunction with the University of Southampton and in association with the Imperial War Museum.

The aim of the conference is to explore the Great War through all forms of moving images including cinema, television and computer games. We are particularly interested in the way genres have translated across media and how images were received creating popular understandings of the war and feeding into wider commemorative processes. The conference is particularly interested to explore the moving image in terms of circulation, distribution and representation.
While the conference is mainly historical in focus, we would like to encourage interdisciplinarity, especially the cross-fertilization of history with the wider military and media communities. This will be the first major international conference of its kind to explore these issues and will, we hope, identify further research synergies forming the basis for future collaboration.
Topics may include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • Home Front
  • Combat filming
  • The Colonial context
  • The European context
  • Landscape and battlefield
  • The ‘other’ (women, orphans etc)
  • The wounded, disfigured and disabled
  • Battlefield tourism
  • Cinematic culture
  • The relationship between cinema and other forms of popular culture
  • Multi-national productions
Proposals (no more than 300 words in length) should be submitted, together with a short CV, by 11 November 2013 to either:

Professor David Welch:
Professor Mark Connelly:
Professor Adrian Smith:
Dr Michael

Piero Jahier and the Italian Soldier Songs

Piero Jahier
We won't get tired of stressing the importance of music during the First World War. If on one hand we find some great composers writing and orchestrating after the war, on the other we have the boundless universe of war songs generated during the war and coming from the hell of trenches. Many wrote about their importance and direct action on the spirit and morale of the troops and it’s not hard to believe them when framing the conflict as the “singing war”. (Some could even think of opening a new season of studies comparing the songs of the First World War, the "singing war" and the "silence" of the Second World War.) It’s not our intention today to write about La leggenda del Piave, known as La canzone del Piave (national anthem between 1943 and 1946), probably the most renowned Italian patriotic song, whose meaning played a strategic role in the national history not only during but also after the World War I.  We rather focus on with a book that the poet and novelist Piero Jahier assembled starting from soldier songs. Jahier (1884-1966) was a volunteer during the World War I and worked also in the making of the trench newspaper L’Astico, when he started collecting all these songs. His book entitled Con me e con gli alpini (With me and with the alpine troops) came out in 1920 is a key-book if your wish is to understand the impact of the Great War on the generation of Italian intellectuals that favoured the war.

The book Canti di soldati is one of the results of his experience at the front and was published immediately after the end of the war in 1919 with the pseudonym of "barba Piero" and thanks to the work of harmonization of Vittorio Gui. In Jahier’s introduction we learn the only criterion used to select these songs, which was basically a criterion of popularity among the troops. The merging of soldier and popular songs or pieces of grand opera is the peculiarity of this book, a real rarity in the Italian history of popular music. At the beginning we read “Sono italiano / e se non canto moro” (I’m from Italy / and if I don’t sing I am going to die). Here follows a list of the songs that the readers can find inside this precious book (as you can notice, not all songs belong the World War One period but go back to the Nineteenth Century): Inno di Garibaldi; All'armi! all'armi! Ondeggiano; Inno di Mameli; Inno di Oberdan; Canzone garibaldina, La Marseillaise, Dans le jardin, God save the King, Tipperary; Coro del Nabucco; Coro dei Lombardi; Inno degli sciatori; Rivista al corredo; 'O surdato 'nnamurato; Addio mia bella, addio; Licenza; Lettera, Stornelli dell'artiglieria; Canzone del bersagliere; E la violetta; I tuoi capelli; La sveglia degl'imboscati; Monte Rosso e Monte Nero; Come porti i capelli bella bionda; Arditi; Inno degli Alpini; Sul cappello che noi portiamo; Emigranti; O Dio del cielo; O Tirolesi mandeme a casa; Se te tocco; Reclute; Il 29 giugno; Il mio bene l'è andà via; Dove sei stato mio bell'alpino; Il mazzolin di fiori; Il testamento del maresciallo; La settimana della Leggera; Gobo so pare; Scherzo sulla morosa; L'è ben ver; Ai prèat la biele stele; In cil'ejè une stele; Ce bielis maninis; Ti ricuardistu ninine, dis-al; Olin bevi; O ce biel; O ce biel lusor di lune; Se savessis fantacinis; Sdrindulàile; Cheste viole.

"WW1 - dentro la Grande Guerra", a Tool of Knowledge for Everyone

Today you have the opportunity to read an interview with Emanuela Zilio, project manager of what is at the moment one of the most challenging projects in Italy. The name is simple: "WW1 - dentro la Grande Guerra" (WW1 - inside the Great War). Before going to the questions and answers, we let the projects speak with the words of the website:

"WW1 is an editorial platform that addresses the public through a wide interactive map of the War Front containing many so far unpublished contents: 360° interactive and immersive panoramas, emotionally involving videos, certified historical documents like the Albo d’Oro, the Army’s official reports on the Great War, the reconstruction of forts and trenches, the daily life in wartime. A large public will access these materials in a digital format and in both Italian and English.
WW1 opens the way to discover the present and the past through the web, personal mobile devices or touch screens located in railway stations, airports and cities.
WW1 is a live tool growing in time to share knowledge and culture and to make them available through the languages people use as their own. WW1 is a non-profit cultural and historical project."

WWI Bridges: Italy first. What are the main goals of the project if we look at the national scenario?
Emanuela Zilio: First of all, WW1 - dentro la Grande Guerra aims to present the Anniversary of the Great War as a significant historical and social event which can promote knowledge and social improvement both nationwide and worldwide, starting from the Regions which were the set of the conflict.
The Great War interested more than thirty countries for a period longer than four years and still today is capable of moving a general deep pathos. Because of these reasons, it is a challenging opportunity for local Administrations, Institutions, Companies, as well as for individuals throughout Italy to promote the cultural heritage of their country while fostering large economic and social growth.
Second, we want the new technologies to be used as languages and tools to make valuable cultural contents accessible to all people. This will permit to re-discover our huge heritage and to equip Regions, Provinces, Municipalities with a platform suitable to promote knowledge and appeal for tourism, targeting both children and adults.
Last but not least, today we need to work to recover Italy's reputation abroad. We believe this can be done by producing quality projects and encouraging the creation of networks that facilitate the interaction of practices, languages and behaviors between public, private institutions and professionals at local, national and international levels.

WWI Bridges: Could you list the reasons why the international Great War audience should keep always an eye open on WW1 and its initiatives?
Emanuela Zilio: WW1 - dentro la Grande Guerra is a quite articulate project which does not aim to create a series of events that celebrate the past but rather to shape a useful tool to understand our present more deeply. More than “initiatives”, WW1 will make interesting contents on the Great War available by mixing and merging private, public and unpublished materials. People are invited to contribute ideas, project proposals, memories. The work schedule features several milestones with progressive releases, so everyone can add new services and opportunities in the process.
WW1 will host the projects people create themselves during the four years of the commemorations, both nationally and internationally. Specific guidelines will be provided to permit the highest degree of integration. 
WW1 is also working to obtain the highest visibility on the international media. This means the possibility to highlight all the projects connected to the platform, whether big or small, on maxi screens in airport boarding areas, railway stations, post offices. It is really challenging for everyone who wants to promote one's territory, the activities related to the Great War, Museums, and events.

WWI Bridges: If we move to the international scenario, WW1 seems to be the only project capable of  opening a dialogue on a worldwide basis. What is your growth/promotion strategy when looking outside Italy?
Emanuela Zilio: WW1 is an ambitious project, but for sure it is not the only one on a worldwide basis. Countries like France, UK, Germany, Poland, Ireland, Romania, etc. are already working hard to create interesting activities and services connected to the cultural and emotional tourism of the First World War.
Until now, Italy seems uncapable of promoting one of the richest heritage in the world, our politicians would argue that “culture gives no bread”, we rather believe the contrary. An educated and culturally aware country can produce value, tolerance, social and economic growth.
WW1 is an attempt to create a case in this sense. It wants to open the international dialogue, to learn and share knowledge with those Countries which have a longer experience and a clever approach to cultural dynamics. 
For these reasons, WW1 - dentro la Grande Guerra is firmly rooted in the European scenario through cooperating with Europeana, submitting project proposals, creating partnerships with Universities, Research Centers and Museums which are focusing on the same issue. 
An international media coverage is also planned.

WWI Bridges: Can you mention some First World War Centenary projects that according to your point of view stand out of the crowd? Why?
Emanuela Zilio: Yes of course. All around the world many projects are springing out. Some of these have a very interesting approach such as the "1914-1918-Online. International Encyclopedia of the First World War". Prof. Oliver Janz and his excellent team in Berlin are working on that project which includes several editors for each Country that took part in the War. According to personal skills and specializations, researchers, professors and experts are asked to write a chapter. Only in Italy, 40 people were selected for the project. WW1 is in touch with some of these authors.
“Europeana 1914-1918 - Your family history of World War One” ( is another amazing operation which surprised even the project leaders because of the huge amount of memories people are bringing out all around Europe. Europeana DB is open and its contents, as well as WW1 ones, go under the Creative Commons Licence CC BY – NC – SA. 
WW1 will run a Collection Day for Europeana on Sept 21st, during the Book Fair “Pordenonelegge”.
The Imperial War Museum ( is probably organizing the most relevant photographic exhibition on the Great War but it is also gathering a very powerful network of actors working on the same issue. In June 2013, The First World War Centenary Partnership reached over 1,000 members from 26 countries.
Apart from the big projects, the most impressive work comes today from the free initiative of individuals. In Italy no funding has been provided by the Government until now local projects and events related to the Great War. Nevertheless, normal people are working hard - many of them as independent actors or workers on voluntary basis - to create something important to commemorate that tragic period and the people who lived it. It is a rather interesting bottom - up approach which is giving birth to thousands of valuable projects such as Tapum, a two months long alpine war path from the Adamello mountain to Redipuglia.

WWI Bridges: "Only the braves", and here the last dangerous question: what is “the childhood dream" that has not been revealed so far, maybe just "to be wise and prudent”
Emanuela Zilio: “...or the fools”. WW1 is itself a childhood dream because it represents the strong will to make our Country create a new model of cultural management and to boost social awareness and economic growth. Abroad, when talking about Italy, it is never a question of place identity, history, beauty, social warmth or accueil but rather a problem of reputation. We need to do something really good to regain it. The Great War is an opportunity we cannot miss.

The Photo Reportage about Monte Rite and Its Fort

As we announced in the previous post, The fort of Monte Rite and the “Museum in the Clouds”here follows a photo reportage about that mountain excursion. We remind our visitors that the travel suggestion related to the following photo reportage is available at this link
We take the chance to remember that you can always send your WWI photo reportages to World War I Bridges (just type in the contact form beside). Let's use this platform as a place where to gather photo reportages about WWI places as they are today. Thanks in advance for keeping in mind.

   1.The ascending path

    2. The Group of Bosconero

    3. View on Group of Bosconero

    4. Approaching the fort

    5. The fort

    6. The top of the fort

    7. Val Zoldana with a cloudy Pelmo

    8. View at north, on the Lake of Centro Cadore and the Piave valley