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The Gustav Line

Southern Lazio with the Gustav Line was the scene of the fiercest and most violent battles of WWII during the Italian campaign.

Bloody battles, bombings, and retaliations still echo in the memory of the places, travel back in time along the Gustav Line!

WWII soldier on The Gustav Line, Lazio - Your True Italy

Trip in a nutshell

  • Ideal for: history lovers, students
  • Highlights: visit Monte Cassino Abbey,  American tanker ShermanM4
  • What you will learn: the story of Operation Shingle, life during Nazi occupation
  • Length:  3 days, 2 nights
  • Starts from Montecassino and ends in Latina
  • Transportation: self-drive or car and driver
  • Accommodation and meals: family-run b&b / hotels; typical meals in traditional restaurants and a picnic in the countryside
  • Price: starting from €760 per person (based on a group of 4 people).

DESCRIPTION OF TOUR

Between October 1943 and May 1944, wartime events raged along the Gustav Line, the main German defense line set up by Hitler to prevent the advancing of the Allies after the Italian surrender on 8 September 1943.

This route will take you along the Gustav line. You will find fortifications and memorial stones, following the footsteps of the Allied Forces and the German troops in the Italian Campaign.

DAY 1

DAY 1 Montecassino abbey and Battlefields

Explore the Abbey and hike to battlefield sites

Monte Cassino abbey is one of the best places in Italy to learn about WWII as four different battles took place in this area with the intention to gain a breakthrough to Rome.  The abbey itself was destroyed during the bombing ordered by general Mark Clark when he thought that the German was holding positions inside the abbey.

Today you will enjoy a full day hiking tour of the most meaningful sites surrounding Cassino, the town itself, the Germans’ caves, and the Abbey of Montecassino.

You will walk along mountain paths that will make you understand the strategic importance of the battles, see what is left of the positions, artillery and learn about the Allied strategy.

 

DAY 2

DAY 2: Monte Cairo landmarks and memories Museum

Morning Hike atop Monte Cairo and visit defensive bunkers

At 1200 mt above sea level, Monte Cairo offers beautiful views of the Liri valley. This area was the stage of bloody WWII battles.

From the summit of mount Cairo and Mount Cifalco, you will enjoy a great view of the Rapido Valley, the Liri Valley, and the town of Cassino. This was the place where the Germans sheltered and controlled the valleys, without fear of being seen. Every Alley position was visible from here.

Bunkers, artillery shooting positions, and trenches can still be found along the former Gustav line. Immersed in such a peaceful setting, you can hardly believe the fighting taking place in this area less than one century ago.

With an expert guide, you will be able to visit the defensive bunkers used by the German soldiers between the end of 1943 and the beginning of 1944, often covered with vegetation.

 Afternoon Learn about life during Nazi occupation

Hosted in a historic mansion you will find the Museo Vivo Della memoria (live Museum of memories). Through audio and video material, you can learn live from the main characters about life during the Nazi occupation. This museum has six rooms carefully curated and it will allow you to have an immersive experience in one of the most dramatic periods of modern history.

DAY 3

DAY 3: Anzio and Piana Delle Orme Museum

Morning  visit Anzio and learn about Operation Shingle

We’ll start our walk from Anzio city center, the lively Piazza Pia. From here, with an easy walk to Angelita’s memorial, the girl who became a symbol of the landing, the immersion in one of the hardest campaigns of WWII begins.

The Battle of Anzio was a long, strenuous battle, lasted more than four months and ended on June 5th, 1944 with the capture of Rome. An expert guide will tell you the story of Operation Shingle, about the Allied offensive and the German counterattacks, visiting the key location of the amphibian landings, the battlefields, the War Cemeteries.

Bunkers, artillery shooting positions, and trenches can still be found along the former Gustav line. Immersed in such a peaceful setting, you can hardly believe the fighting taking place in this area less than one century ago.

With an expert guide, you will be able to visit the defensive bunkers used by the German soldiers between the end of 1943 and the beginning of 1944, often covered with vegetation.

 Afternoon WWII vehicles on display at Piana Delle Orme Museum

In Piana Delle Orme historic museum t you will learn about the battles between Nazis and Allies in this area through diorama and vehicles displays. Here you will find thousands of objects, such as the items used by the troops during the long and exhausting battle of positions that followed the Anzio landings. The restored American tanker ShermanM4, as seen in the movie “La vita è bella”, and the American fighter plane Curtiss P40-L are some of the highlights.

The point of interest

The program in details

This is an approximate schedule, exact times will be finalized and they might change during the trip.

– Day 1: Montecassino abbey and battlefields

  • Meet me in Montecassino at  10.00 am
  • 10.00 – 12.30 visit the Abbey
  • 12.30 – 1,30 pm pocket lunch in the park
  • 1.30 – 6,00 pm  visit the battle sites
  • 6.00 pm  transfer to hotel
  • 8.00 pm  typical dinner

– Day 2:  Monte Cairo landmarks and memories museum

  • Depart from the hotel at  9.00 am
  • 10.00 – 1.30 hike to Monte Cairo
  • 1.30 – 2.30 pm  lunch in a local restaurant
  • 2.30 – 5.30 pm visit memories Museum
  • 5.30  pm transfer to hotel
  • 8.00 pm  typical dinner

– Day 3: Anzio and Piana delle Orme museum

  • Depart from the hotel at  9.00 am
  • 9,30 am – 1.30 pm  visit Anzio
  • 1.30 – 2.30 pm  lunch in a local restaurant
  • 2.30 – 5.30 pm visit Piana delle Orme Museum
  • 5.30  pm end of the tour

Is included

  • 2 nights in an agriturismo (based on double room occupancy) and breakfast
  • 3 typical meals
  • entrance tickets to the museums
  • A local professional English speaking guide throughout your trip
  • Pre-trip support and assistance during your trip

Is not included, but can be arranged

  • Transportation throughout the tour
  • Any other destination/experience not specified in the program

What to bring – useful info

  • Pack one nicer outfit for evenings out (optional 😉)
  • 1 light jacket or wrap
  • 1 pair of comfortable shoes
  • Hat
  • Small daypack that’s comfortable to carry
  • Water bottle
  • 1 notebook and pens

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