July 3, 2013

"And finally we arrive at the Italian Charnel House. Mussolini had it built in 1938 to honor the fallen Italian soldiers from the awful war..."

"... (Kobarid was in these years under Italian rule). As if there would be no other war. As if Kobarid was heading toward a peaceful era, where one could look back and reflect on the horror of past aggressions. Mussolini had moved the remains of 7014 known and unknown Italian soldiers who lost their lives in the Soca Front — taking them from local military cemeteries and honoring them here, in this house of corpses. We walk slowly around the edifice, reading the names, understanding the pain that each death caused to those left behind, feeling the irony of this Mussolini gesture and the exclusive pride in the Italian sacrifice, ignoring the pain felt, too, by Slovenian people who lost lives as well, in addition to losing pasture lands, cattle, a livelihood that had been very much centered on the mountains towering over the Soca River."

Much more here, with photographs, from the mountains of Slovenia.

13 comments:

Clyde said...

So Nina went from Wisconsin to Slovenia to visit a Museum of cheese? Isn't that a "coals to Newcastle" sort of thing?

Ann Althouse said...

"So Nina went from Wisconsin to Slovenia to visit a Museum of cheese?"

I was going to say that but then I got to the part about the charnel house. It was some great narrative misdirection.

Mick Havoc said...

My great uncle Giuseppe Giundrone was killed there in 1917. My grandmother kept his framed photo on her dresser until her death.

Clyde said...

Lovely scenery in her pictures. Sometimes I miss seeing mountains (or even hills), since this part of Florida is as flat as a pancake.

And the Military Museum? Somehow, I'm hearing the chorus of "One Tin Soldier" in the background. In the end, the conquerors' treasure is only a slip of paper reading "peace on earth."

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

Slovenia is an incredibly beautiful area. If you want an excellent adventure vacation go to Slovenia. Unfortunately Slovenia is on the euro so its not cheap. Or better yet go to Croatia. Many old timers said Croatia is like Tuscany in the 1950s.

edutcher said...

It would be better in the next war,

The Eyeties were known as the Army of Love because, in most of the Balkan countries they occupied, when the men went up into the mountains to be partisans, Mussolini's boys, many of whom were a little over the hill for mountain warfare, moved in with the abandoned wives, widows, and girlfriends.

The biggest danger they faced was after Il Duce was ousted and the Krauts started executing any Italian who wanted to surrender to the Allies.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

The breakfast at the wonderful Turisticna Kmetija Kranjc is always a little different, though always with the farm cheeses of the region and home made yogurt, home made jams, local honey.

Eastern European food is generally awful but they do know how to eat breakfast and treats. One of the reasons I married my wife is she makes homemade, cheese, bread, yogurt, jams and cultured milk.

I want the wife and I us to be like Nina and her husband. Two old tourists going to places where they ask "how did you find us?"

Chip Ahoy said...

Hi Nina. My favorite part was telling the imaginary children, "be super careful," too many times. I recall saying, "If I listened to you I'd have to be thinking about how to be careful every singly minute!" And my mum goes, "well, yeah, duh."

And my second favorite part is the terroir making the best unpasteurized milk you ever tasted.

Augie Fartro said...

If they were "known and unknown" how did they know they were Italians?

CWJ said...

OMG Kefir!!!! I thought only Russians and Ukrainians could stomach that stuff.

All in all, a great travel post. Thank you Nina and Ann.

CWJ said...

OMG Kefir!!!! I thought only Russians and Ukrainians could stomach that stuff.

All in all, a great travel post. Thank you Nina and Ann.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

If they were "known and unknown" how did they know they were Italians?

Uniforms?

To each his own, but Althouse, I can't understand how you can read a friend's marvelous European travelogues, contemplate your own abundance of time/freedom/disposable income, and say to yourself, "Yes, another car trip to South Dakota would be grand!"

Ann Althouse said...

"To each his own, but Althouse, I can't understand how you can read a friend's marvelous European travelogues, contemplate your own abundance of time/freedom/disposable income, and say to yourself, "Yes, another car trip to South Dakota would be grand!""

We love home. Hate flying.

Consider too that she is European and has the sense of going home.

I've been to Europe. Got homesick.

We are just not about traveling. Traveling is overrated. That someone else can do it well doesn't mean I can. It is a skill and requires the right temperament.