Monte Sole Historical Park

The Historical Park of Monte Sole in Bologna covers 6,300 hectares. During the fall of 1944, hundreds of civilians were slain by Nazi soldiers in the area. Since 1989 Monte Sole Historical Park is a protected zone promoting a culture of peace for future generations. The ‘Il memoriale’ itinerary inside the park presents the symbolic places of the massacre.

The Parco Storico di Monte Sole, part of Emilia Orientale Park Authority, covers much of the territory involved in the Monte Sole massacre, a series of massacres of civilians carried out between 29 September and 5 October 1944 by German units belonging mainly to the 16th Reichsführer-SS Grenadier Division, supported by fascist collaborators of the Italian Social Republic. It was the massacre with the highest number of civilian victims in Italy and Western Europe in the period 1943-1945. The Nazis indiscriminately killed almost 800 people, mostly women and children, as part of an anti-partisan operation to reclaim the area close to the front line. The aim was to wipe out the environmental, physical and human conditions that allowed the existence and operation of the gangs, particularly the 'Red Star Wolf' brigade. Throughout the winter of 1944-45, the front was stationed on these heights and the liberation of the area took place in mid-April 1945 by the 6th South African Armoured Division framed in the 5th Allied Army, after fierce fighting. 

The protected area was established by the Emilia-Romagna Region with Law No. 19 of 27 May 1989. Historical, nature and artistic routes have been created inside. The visitor centre Il Poggiolo is based here and welcomes schoolchildren, tourists and visitors. Illustrative material, maps and information on the history and landscape of the park can be found inside. Scuola di Pace di Monte Sole (Monte Sole Peace School) in San Martino and Piccola Famiglia dell'Annunziata (Little Family of the Annunciation), founded by Don Giuseppe Dossetti, are also present and active in the area. 

The historical path of the War Memorial is dedicated to the Monte Sole massacre and the partisan brigade Stella Rossa. It reaches the symbolic sites of the massacre all the way to the peak. Along the itinerary, one encounters monuments, memorial stones, crosses, plaques, works of art, destroyed houses and churches. Each stop is marked by explanatory panels in Italian and English consisting of historical reconstructions, photographs, maps and testimonies. You can download the 'Monte Sole' APP for iOS and Android free of charge, which allows you to obtain information on the massacre and consult an interactive map of the sites. Two large sections dedicated to photos and videos complete the application.

Via Porrettana Nord, 4, 40043 Marzabotto, BO, Italy

+39 (0) 5193 2525

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