Monday, May 3, 2010

Anzac Day in Tuscany

April 25 is ANZAC Day, celebrated in New Zealand and Australia, and it is also Liberation Day, celebrated in Italy. As a self-proclaimed pacifist I commemorate, because even if I don't personally remember war, I feel that it should not be forgotten, especially when is still happening around the globe.

This year we 'celebrated' in Tavarnelle, a small town in Tuscany liberated by New Zealand soldiers. First we went to a small wood in Pratale, near Tavarnelle, to remember the 12 farmers brutally killed there for no reason by the retiring German soldiers. It was very moving, a reminder that war also brings numerous civil casualties, and massacres.


Below: The mayor and the citizens of Tavarnelle in front of the war memorial.
The band played The New Zealand and the Italian national anthems, and Bella Ciao

After the ceremony we went to the Council buildings for a presentation and talks by war historians. There was an exhibit of photos of New Zealand soldiers, which have also been used for the book "21 luglio 4 agosto 1944 - I giorni della Liberazione - Le truppe neozelandesi da San Donato alle porte di Firenze" (21 July 4 August 1944 - The Liberation Days - The New Zealand troops from San Donato to Florence)

Below: the monument with the names of the New Zealand soldiers who died in Tevernelle (click here for the full list).

No ANZAC Cookies for us today, but cantucci, or biscotti di Prato, which can be dipped in Vin Santo. But I will post the recipe for these (the biscuits, not the wine!) next time.

Photos by Alessandra Zecchini©


  1. Learn something new every day! I knew the ANZACs were in Gallipoli but had no idea they liberated a lot of Italy...Like you, I'm a pacifist and I'm not big on celebrating war related things but I love me an ANZAC bikkie ;P

  2. That is nice of you to share your photos of this touching memorial, Alessandra. It is interesting to see how other parts of the world remember their war heroes.

  3. What a lovely tribute. Thanks so much for sharing your photos. It looks like a touching remembrance. You asked about the cheese. It yellows as it sits. The tomatoes had been grilled about an hour before the photo was taken. I used a freshly made mozzarella from an Italian grocery in our area. When served right off the grill the cheese is almost pure white. Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  4. thank you for your comments and thank you for the explanation Mary :-)

  5. Very touching, thank you for sharing Alessandra.

    XX form NZ.

  6. proprio un bel post alessandra, grazie per avermelo segnalato!



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