The Gothic Line, WWII

After the liberation of Rome on June 5, 1944, it took nearly 11 months of fighting before U.S. troops reached the Po River on April 22, 1945.

This was the most intense historical period of interaction between Americans and local Italians and Sammarinesi, a period that generated millions of individual stories, some tragic and some joyful.

vernio6-e1527778271989 A flour sack that contained flour donated to Italy by the U.S.A.

On the American side were hundreds of thousands of troops making their way north. On the Italian and Sammarinesi side were millions of soldiers fighting alongside the Americans and civilians trying to survive the chaos and carnage of war.

Some of the most violent chapters of this story occurred along the so-called Gothic Line, the Nazi’s series of 2,000 fortified positions that ran through the mountains from Carrara to a point on the Adriatic south of Ravenna.

As part of the American Consulate’s bicentennial outreach, they recently visited two points along the Line: Carrara on the Ligurian Sea and Vernio in the Val di Bisenzio, north of Prato.

In both cities, the memory of the Gothic Line and of the American and Allied troops who fought and died there remains vivid. In both cities, the local government is keen to develop educational materials and touristic itineraries to keep this memory alive for future generations. We look forward to working with both cities as they explore and explain this piece of our shared history.


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