"Ora tocca a noi", the new Italian project for the Centenary

Ora tocca a noi is a project produced by the Association WW1 - dentro la Grande Guerra with the support of the Region of Veneto. The project aims to present and commemorate the Great War with a contemporary approach and by using innovative languages. The possibility to consider History under a different glance is a way to arise awareness about the imprinting that conflict gave to current world and to figure out how today people can actively contribute in building a better present and future. 
The project includes an emotional video which underlines how veterans contributed to change the world 100 years ago and a collection of interactive panoramas which match today landscapes with the places where soldiers and civilians lived in war time. These two media will contribute to open a debate about how past is strictly connected to our lives, to remember it was hundred of thousands young people - as we are, involved in it and to consider how places changed along the last Century.

Two other elements help users to draw a critical thinking. First of all, a map of Italy permits us to know almost 16,000 streets in Italy are devoted to the Great War. The unthinkable impact that events had on people and places as well as and the necessity to make Italians believing it was an useful effort and a concrete tribute to the Country in the years after the war, gave floor for memorial monuments’ building and streets’ naming. Names of “famous” people such as Gen. Luigi Cadorna or the King Vittorio Emanuele III, war places (mountains, rivers, cities, etc) or events’ date (the date in which Italy joined the war or signed peace agreements, etc.) became toponyms. The collection and the analysis of street names permit to figure out how a country is keeping memory of its past, how and why this process and emotion can be different in different regions and how often people do not realize their street is called “Monte Grappa” not because in Italy a mountain had that specific name but because of thousands of casualties the First World War counted in that area. A call is now opening to European Countries to map similarly their memory by a specific research on street names.

Second, a growing collection of news related to current day wars is provided in the project. A deep extended financial crisis is going on and bloody wars are broadcasted in daily news from nearby Countries. Italy, European Countries, worldwide Countries in 2015, are all involved in conflicts. This is here and now, it is not just a matter related to our grandparents’ age.
Beyond an idealistic need for peace, a shared and more conscious approach to economic, social, political matters is definitely needed today.
To reach this goal, Ora tocca a noi proposes several educational activities. The possibility to interact with students and teachers, but also with young people and adults in general, allows to spread a new way of learning History and Culture while fostering new possibilities for social and economic growth.

The project will be available on www.oratoccanoi.it and officially launched on July 3, 2015 at the Museo della Terza Armata in Padua - Italy.  All people liking it are very welcome!

WW1 – dentro la Grande Guerra (www.grandeguerra100.it) is an Association which considers the Great War as a first focal point to promote culture and sharing as the ground for a better awareness, social and economic growth. All projects are developed with the collaboration of high skilled researchers and professionals from Italian, European and extra-European Universities, Technologic Industries and Culture Field. Digital Distillery, Officine Panottiche + NuovostudioFactory and Hive Division are the founders of WW1 cross-media project.

Related project:
+100Cal - with the support of EU (Europe for Citizens Programme)
Ora tocca a noi - with the support of the Region of Veneto - launch on July 3, 2015 www.oratoccanoi.it
3a Armata in Friuli - with the support of the Region of Friuli Venezia Giulia - launch on July 4, 2015
Donne si fa storia - with the support of the Region of Veneto - launch on July 13, 2015

The First World War in music: "Carillon" (Op. 75) by Edward Elgar

Edward Elgar (1857-1934)
It was the Belgian poet and playwright Émile Cammaerts who lent the words to the English composer Edward Elgar (Broadheat, Worcester, 1857 - Worcester 1934) for his Op. 75, known also with the title of Carillon. The contact and bridge between Elgar and Cammaerts was possible thanks to the Cammaerts' poem that Elgar found and red on the "The Observer". This recitation for voice and orchestra belongs to a rich chapter of Elgar's works. In the opus of this long-lived composer we can nimbly outline a group of compositions dealing with our theme of First World War in music: from The Fringes of the Fleet, taken from the booklet by Rudyard Kipling, to the Cello Concert (Op. 85) composed in the aftermath, we may have more than one opportunity to meet again this musician. As told we will stay today with the Op. 75 and we will probably come back with other suggestions in the next weeks. In the meanwhile, before or after listening to the excert, you can go into details about Carillon at this Wikipedia link: there is nothing that we could add to this brief and incisive introduction to this piece of music.

The poets and the World War: "A Memory" by Margaret Sackville

Lady Margaret Sackville 
Margaret Sackville was born in 1881 in Mayfair, West London. She was a prolific writer, both as a poet and as an author of children's books. During the First World War she was activist in peace organizations like the Union of Democratic Control that she supported throughout the years of the warfare. The poem we propose today first appeared in the book entitled The Pageant of War in 1916 (it can sound prosaic as a title but pay attention to the year, it was a real innovation to talk for the first time of a new pageant deriving from the destruction). What comes out after a rough and rapid comparison among different "war poets" is the preference for scenes: the poetry generated by World War One overlaps somehow with a "global poetics of scenes" and also the special case of the following "silent" poem gives us a confirmation in such perception. At the same time, what is really interesting to study, is the different treatment that the "recollection" of scenes and memories undergoes in the different cases. It's more or less like saying that we face often a clear starting point (namely that particular scene) and what is surprising, at the end of the day, is the abundance of solutions to describe, interpret or even go beyond the scene that we can file in our inventory. Thinking about the Italian poets, for example, both Giuseppe Ungaretti and Clemente Rebora often start from even similar war scenes, but the result in their verses is a totally diverse "poetics of the scene".


There was no sound at all, no crying in the village,
Nothing you would count as sound, that is, after the shells;
Only behind a wall the low sobbing of women, 
The creaking of a door, a lost dog-nothing else.

Silence which might be felt, no pity in the silence, 
Horrible, soft like blood, down all the blood-stained ways;
In the middle of the street two corpses lie unburied, 
And a bayoneted woman stares in the market-place.

Humble and ruined folk-for these no pride of conquest, 
Their only prayer: "O Lord, give us our daily bread!"
Not by the battle fires, the shrapnel are we haunted; 
Who shall deliver us from the memory of these dead?

First World War one day itineraries through Italy. Suggestion no.19: Monte Piana plateau

The plateau of Monte Piana is not so astonishing like the panorama you have in front in the area of Tre Cime di Lavaredo or Monte Cristallo, but represents for sure a nice, quite easy and above all instructive day (even half day) itinerary in a small area around the peak of Monte Piana. This mountain of the Sexten Dolomites range was the scenario of a slow massacre in World War One years. The area overlaps with the former 1753 frontier between the Republic of Venice (Serenissima) and Tyrol (a boundary stone is still visible on site). Immediately after the war outbreak, early June of 1915, the troops of Standschützen tried to gain the summit around the Piramide Carducci: heavy casualties on both sides and fundamentally a stationary front line for the remaining 30 months were the results of the war in this plateau of the Dolomites. One of the main targets of the Austrian attacks was the area of the Forcella dei Castrati, that is a kind of landmark of this short itinerary, a depression in this gibbous plateau where you can admire magnificent florescences.

In 1977 the Dolomitenfreunde, a group of volunteers headed by Walther Schaumann, restored the trenches and the former positions of the two fronts and the resulting path is now a really instructive and easy itinerary with breathtaking views appearing on each side. As always, even the easiest walk can turn into something dangerous, therefore we invite you to keep the highest level of attention, with particular regards to the steep and rocky side looking at Landro valley (some parts of the itinerary are equipped with special steel ropes and a set of harnesses is recommended). The starting point is Rifugio Bosi (Tel. +39 0435 39034, email: rifugiomontepiana@tiscali.it, here on Maps) that you can reach also from Misurina with a special jeep service (in summer) or snowcat service (in winter). Of course you can reach the hut by foot from Misurina and it’s going to take between one hour and one hour and a half. From the Bosi mountain hut you can easily reach the historical path (look always for the yellow signs and follow path no. 6a). Like we already wrote, pay particular attention to the most exposed segments of the path that lead you among Italian positions and then to the very large summit of Monte Piana (2324 m. above see level, 7625 ft) . You can proceed toward the centre of its plateau through the Italian trenches and wire fences touching in a rapid sequence the aforementioned Piramide Carducci and the Forcella dei Castrati, the Italian stronghold. Follow the path 111 and the “Cengia della Guardia Napoleone” with some exposed parts and partially equipped with steel ropes and you will see the two galleries of mines. Once you're come back on the plateau you’re in the Austro-Hungarian positions. At this point you may reach the “Dobbiaco Cross” and the beginning of the “Pionierweg” (a steep path ascending from the Lake of Landro) where you can have a good overview of the surrounding area. The way back is a descent through the Austro-Hungarian trenches that touches again Forcella dei Castrati and Piramide Carducci and bring you you back to the Rifugio Bosi.

(One of the next posts will be a photo reportage offered by Ugo Agnoletto, taken during this itinerary three years ago. The two pictures above are courtesy of Ugo Agnoletto. In the meanwhile, other interesting images of this mountain area are visible at this link.)

Suggested map: Tabacco no. 10, Sextener Dolomiten/Dolomiti di Sesto, 1:25.000, here a brochure in English, Italian and German.

As for our suggested itineraries, though every possible effort to provide accurate information on this site, you are solely responsible for interpreting and using this information to organize your trip and excursion and to evaluate all potential hazards according to your own capacities and risks inherent to the different natural environments.