After almost a century since its beginning, the First World War still occupies a very important place in the collective memory of the inhabitants of Friuli Venezia Giulia. Especially because of the traces of countless memorials in the territories where it was fought.
St. Michael of Karst, theatre of bitter fighting for two long years, is infamous for the death of thousands of Italians, who were caught in a surpirse attack with asphyxiant gas. Nowadays, the Open-air Museum of St. Michael‘s Mountain, in the heart of the Isonzo Karst, offers a fascinating itinerary through history and nature; by following it, you will discover the structures and the monuments which were built between the four peaks of this karst elevation during the Great War.
Moving from the small square in front of the Museum of the Great War, you can follow the path leading to the nearby Austrian Cave of General Lukachich. Close by, on the left, you will see the two entrances of the Third Army Embrasure Gallery, a large underground facility which was used by the Italian army.
Skirting the 3rd Peak, you will be able to admire a side of the Embrasure and, once arrived near the 2nd Peak, you will see the entrance to the Schönburgtunnel.
In 1922, St. Michael‘s Mountain was declared Sacred Site. It also offers the opportunity to take the fascinating Path of Memorial Stones that twists and turns along the ridge by almost joining the cemetery of Saint Martin on Karst and the Italian trench which was struck, on June 29th, 1916, by the first chemical attack on this frontline.
If you still have some time, you can continue your historic tour by reaching Ungaretti‘s Literary Park, dedicated to the great poet who fought in these places.