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The volunteers value.

Summer brought me again to the Alps, this time at Pal Piccolo. A mountain cut, up to the top, by the border between Italy and Austria. Once reached the peak we had in front of us the usual horrific and crystallized panorama. Crossing that incredible tangle of trenches, we arrived to what was the first line. Just few metres of distance divided Italians and Austrians. From that slits soldiers were able to observe each other, hearing and monitoring.

Trenches slowly ruined by the effects of time. This time we weren’t alone on the top but a group of people was working around. I met the association named “Friends of the Dolomites”. Since years they have been working to preserve the trenches from degradation to show to wayfarers what was the pain and inhumanity of war. This way, they can have a glance of what was Europe when all the states where fighting each other.

Chatting a bit with them, we also talked about the motivations inspiring these volunteers in their job: remember never to repeat such a tragedy and to promote peace amongst countries. We say hello to each other, grateful for the work done and for the common mission. Down the valley there are many cemeteries, silent direct witnesses of the horror that was that place.

Info: Pal Piccolo is an excursionist path (to do equipped with the proper mountain equipment) that starts from Valico di Passo di Monte Croce. This pass can be reached by car from Timau, in Italy, or from Mauthen, in Austria. Both, Timau and Mauthen, offer museums dedicated to the First World War. In the area you can also visit the Timau War Memorial in Italy and many small War Cemeteries on the Austrian side.

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