The Bell of Peace is located close to a bridge on the Gari river, or ‘Rapido River’ as named by the Allies, in the village of Sant’Angelo in Theodice, close to Cassino. The bridge itself is known as ‘Bridge of the four battles’ recalling the importance it had in the Battle for Monte Cassino. The Bell rings every day at noon to commemorate the various nationalities of the soldiers who died in the battles for Monte Cassino. The crossing of the river Gari was essential for the advance on to Monte Cassino and the ultimate break of the Gustav Line.
The deep and turbulent river made the crossing all but easy, along with the mines that the Germans had disseminated and the armed fighting to defend the German positions. Hundreds of Allied soldiers died. After many attempts, during the fourth and last battle of Cassino, the crossing and the establishment of a bridgehead was made possible by building a sort of bridge on the top of a Sherman tank. The tank was lying in the river, while a scaffolding was built on the top of it, allowing troops and vehicles to cross. The Bell of Peace was inaugurated in 2008.
On the bell you can see a scene of the Rapido River battle, the coat of arms of the Cassino municipality and of the Abbey, an image of the Pity and the writing “The sun shines again” as a message of hope for all wars to end.