The cemeteries of the Second World War

For a journey into memory.

The mountains on the north of Mugello were from summer 1944 to spring 1945, the scene of bloody battles, where the Germans, arranged on a line, called “Gothic Line”, intended to stop or at least slow the Allies advance.

At the end of the war the Volksbund Deutsche Kriegsgräberfürsorge, took charge to build a cemetery for the definitive placement of the fallen German soldiers in the Italian territory, and in 1961 started the construction of what  now is the largest cemetery of German soldiers in Italy. Opened in 1969, is located on the Futa Pass, 12 km. from the farmhouse of Corzano. It takes an area of 12 hectares and houses 30,685 bodies of soldiers killed in 2069 different Italian municipalities. It is one of the monuments of Second World War in our region.

For those who wish to continue on the journey into memory, visiting allies cemeteries must come down around Florence. To south on the Via Cassia, is located the cemetery of U.S. soldiers, between the towns of Impruneta and San Casciano, 46 km away. The “Florence American Cemetery” and Memorial, completed in 1959 and opened in 1961, occupies an area of 28 hectares; it is the resting place for 4,402 American soldiers; and, on the memorial, a wall lined with pink rose granite slabs, recalls the names of 1409 missing soldiers.

To the east of Florence, on the way to Pontassieve on the riverside of the Arno it took place the cemetery of Commonwealth soldiers, near the village il Girone at 47 km. In the War Cemetery of Florence, completed in 1947, were buried the bodies of 1637 fallen soldiers of the Eigth Army, coming from the nations part of the Commonwealth.

The trip ends at Pistoia, 53 km away, where there is a monument to the Brazilian Soldier. Here have been buried the bodies of 461 soldiers form the South American country until 1960, when the Brazilian government decided to bring them back to the homeland. In 1967 a votive monument was erected on the site, and at the end of the work  the body of a soldier who had not been moved to Brazil was found, and since it was not possible indentificate; they decided to leave it in place as “Unknown Soldier”.

“Death unites winners and losers”