1983-2013: The Historical Museum of the Great War of Outdoor Monte Piana turns thirty.
In fact already from 1977 to 1982 the “Friends of the Dolomites”, coordinated by prof. Walther Schaumann, had sketched a big project on the mountain, which was the scene of bitter fighting, but even more, the struggle for survival from May 1915 to October 1917.
After the earthquake of Friuli of 1976, the then 4th Alpine Corps had supported logistically for six summers the Austrian group, which welcomed volunteers from all over Europe, to create the first Open Air Museum, which proposed a historic route between the trenches, barracks and tunnels on that mountain where 14,000 soldiers died between Italians and Austrians, in an exhausting war of position, for the possession of that bastion above the valleys Popena, Landro and Brixen, access roads to the Pusteria, considered important route of supply of ‘Austro-Hungarian army, to South Tyrol.
In 1982 some volunteers asked and obtained by the then Italian Fondazione Monte Piana, affiliated AAS. Combatants and Veterans of Treviso, to care, as well as the care of war monuments on the place and the celebration of the memory of the fallen, even manutenzionare annually what the previous group had restored in those years: daring paths of war equipped on ledges north and south of the mountain; a general restoration of the viability of war, starting from the valleys below, revaluing paths that from the point of view of landscape jaw-dropping for their beauty; the safety of caves and tunnels and cleaning debris of some sections of trenches and shelters, both on the south, Italian, and in the North, the Austrian.
Fans always the story of the war in our mountains, the twins Albert and Fabrizio Gottardo, Padua, grandchildren of two fighters of the Col di Lana and the Karst region, they would not have endured that all the work done on Piana degraded yet only because the group with which had collaborated changing area, so in 1983 they began, with some friends, to spend their August holidays, not only in the old trenches manutenzionare already clean, but to restore the continuation to other positions, so as to connect the walkways leading to the remains shacks; workstations weapon to deposits and galleries approach to observers.
Since 1984, the Alpine Troops resumed provide essential logistical support to the volunteers, which increased significantly from year to year. Each day during the first two weeks of August, there was until the lever, half with two alpine left early in the morning the barracks of San Candido, to reach the camp at the top of Monte Piana (2325 m.), To bring food and water (there no source) and increase the workforce. Recall also that the group has always lived self-financing with respect to the procurement of supplies, materials and printing of the guides distributed to visitors.
For those 15 days of activity has always lived in military tents so spartan, but the organization has steadily improved over the years. After the draft, the Alpine Troops Command has generously continued to support the volunteer group, yielding a final various materials for the preparation of the field and paying each season working a large tent-refectory that still welcomes the thirty people who alternate in the period in which the site is open.
From their twenties who were the two brothers joined the group when Gottardo Schaumann, are now supported in their work by their children who live this experience again with renewed enthusiasm.
In thirty years the newly reconstituted “Friends of Monte Piana” has come a long way with a shovel and pickaxe: rispristinate were virtually all major locations of historical interest in the first and second line by the Italian and Austrian is by enhancing three years the system of outposts that faced those of the enemy at a minimum distance of 25 meters.
This has created a true open-air museum, with itineraries that can satisfy all the many visitors who flock each summer on this mountain.
Even by the institutions is increasingly evident the interest in this reality that boosts tourism in the territory and the result is a concrete support to the Group.
The Office of Natural Parks Monguelfo has promoted the renewal of the signs in the open-air museum, realizing also orthophotos explanatory, highlighting possible paths. The City of Auronzo di Cadore, in whose jurisdiction is for 2/3 the area of M. Piana, has always shown sensitivity in helping the Association. After all the years pass and what was done thirty years ago, using timber, needs constant maintenance.
In August 2012, the thirtieth season of the actual work of the group, I think it came the most beautiful reward for our ongoing commitment. The 6th Alpini Regiment of Brunico, which is the department that in recent years has supported us, wanted to spend a day with us, in the name of memory, going from the main paths that traveled the soldiers during the war. After the flag-raising ceremony, the Commander of the 6th, Colonel Luigi Rossi, left the floor to the coordinator of the Working Group Alberto Gottardo, Alpine Section of Padua, a historical framework, which showed that they were distributed on the mountain, during the war, the forces faced. We were then divided into groups, to travel various routes along the trenches, until the hour of rations, consumed on site, also involving the many tourists present. The delivery of the crest of the Department and the promise for future years to maintain a commitment to collaboration, have been topped the unforgettable day. Then the companies are run down to the valley, on the march, as they were climbing.
A budget to be welcomed, therefore, on this anniversary; result of an ongoing commitment of people united by passion for the mountains and respect for those who lived suffering those tragic years of Italian history.
Alberto Gottardo – Friends of the Monte Piana – sez. Padua