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"Battlefields in Italy" Topic


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826 hits since 3 Jun 2010
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artaxerxes04 Jun 2010 5:28 p.m. PST

I will be in Italy for a couple of weeks, on holiday with my wife. Part of this will involve driving from Milan to Ravenna and then into Tuscany by way of various obvious sies in northern Italy. Is there a guide book – in English preferably – to battlefields in Italy? There are a dozen (at least) of this kind for Britain, but I'm wondering if anything similar exists for the battlefield-rich environment of northern Italy?

nebeltex Inactive Member04 Jun 2010 6:16 p.m. PST

not sure about any books….

here is an interesting site though. they may have some info on books.

link

artaxerxes04 Jun 2010 6:30 p.m. PST

Thanks for the link, but I'm really looking for earlier periods – the battlefields/sites of the two world wars are generally pretty well covered by guide books.

JonFreitag04 Jun 2010 8:56 p.m. PST

In which period(s) are you interested?

Zagloba04 Jun 2010 9:29 p.m. PST

Pavia and Novara are both near Milan. I have no idea if there is any 'preserved' battlefield though.

There's the Sforza fortress in Milan proper.

Rich

artaxerxes04 Jun 2010 9:33 p.m. PST

Thanks Zagloba – that's the sort of thing I'm wondering. Most of the standard guide books to Italy spend little or no time on the battlefields – perhaps because, as with Bicocca, there is nothing left to see.

JonF, I'm interested in Renaissance and Napoleonic, basically. The Great War sites are well documented and outside my route on this trip.

Personal logo losart Sponsoring Member of TMP05 Jun 2010 1:02 a.m. PST

As far as I know there is not a good book/guide on Italian battlefields and unfortunatly it is hard to find a battlefield that is preserved as you can find in UK or USA (I mean with info point etc).

Most of the battle fought in Italy were in the North that is the most industralized area of the country, so many buildgings.

There are anyway many "preserved" battlefield as in countryside.

Let's start with the Great Italian Wars as you mentioned Bicocca. Bicocca is part of Milan, so absolutely nothing see.

Marignano is now called Melegnano. From Milan if you go south you pass by. Actually the battle was fought not in Melegnano but between San Giuliano and Zivido.
It is hard to have a general view of the battlefield but there are some places that witnessed the events.
For example the remains of the castle of Brivio picture
were hundred of Swiss took repair after the battle and were burnt inside.

Then we have Pavia that is a nice town on its own so worth the visit. If you have the Osprey campaign on this battle you have a good guide. Still not ieasy to have a general view due to the complexity of the battle.

Still in the are is Agnadello. The battlefield is abiut the same as it was. I live just few miles away and I can do a guide if you want (you can write me at dadiepiombo AT libero DOT it)

Worth a visit is Fornovo. From the A1 highway (the main route that connects Milan with Rome and Naples) if you just before Parma take the A15 highway (towards La Spezia) you will reach in a few miles the Taro river and can have a clear idea of the battlefield.

At Ravenna you will get a Byzantine flavour more than Italian Wars.

In Tuscany there are some battlefield related to the Communal warfare and these are Campaldino (go to Poppi link Montaperti (near Siena link and Colle Val d'Elsa (worth a visit for the typical village picture )

Personal logo losart Sponsoring Member of TMP05 Jun 2010 1:10 a.m. PST

Ah, for the Napoleonic, close to Milan and Melegnano, there is Lodi, where you can easily visit the bridge. The bridge is a modern one but you can have a good view of the area.

Marengo is Piemonte region (east from Milan), the correct place is Spinetta di Marengo link

While towards the Garda lake you can visit Lonato, the castle is about the same and you can have a good view.

If you move towards the Garda lake don't miss San Martino and Solferino and visit the tower (you can see from the A4 highway) with a good view and many paintings. Close to Solferino I suggest to see Peschiera that was a military town (most of the buildings are former barracks) and it was a fortified town during the Austrian occupation of nort Italy (see Second War of Italian Independence). Peschiera is on the lake and a nice place to spend a day.

JonFreitag05 Jun 2010 5:13 a.m. PST

I made the trip to Northern Italy in the Fall of 2009 and I found no proper battlefield guides available.

For the early Napoleonic campaigns I found the following useful as battlefield guides and carried these titles with me:

1796 campaign – Voykowitsch's Castiglione 1796.
1799 campaign – Duffy's Eagles Over the Alps.
1800 campaign – Either Hollins' Marengo 1800 or Arnold's Marengo & Hohenlinden.

I agree with Losart, a side trip to San Martino and Solferino is recommended if you have any interest in the 1859 campaign. Magenta is close to Milan.

Jon

artaxerxes05 Jun 2010 6:26 p.m. PST

Many thanks for this guys. I'll have wife in tow, so I'll probably only get a couple in as we drive between points ('look at that beutiful landscape, dear. The French left flank was over there.'). Pavia, Lodi and Marengo (I had completely – and stupidly – forgotten all about the last) sound like excellent options. Many thanks again.

magister equitum06 Jun 2010 1:13 a.m. PST

The valley of river Trebbia is a nice place to visit and the site of a famous battle between Hannibal and the Romans and also later of a battle in 1799 between McDonald and Suvorov

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