“A Journey of Remembrance” promises an awe-inspiring trip, celebrating and reflecting on Canada’s considerable contributions to the Italian Campaign in World War 2. Our journey will allow us to bask in the natural beauty of Italy ranging from Ortona to Cassino along the famed Gustav line, while savoring the hospitality and cuisine of the Italian people.
Together we will celebrate those brave souls of the Allied armies who fought with such courage and dedication. Soldiers in reality far removed from the infamous and unwise label of being “D-Day Dodgers.” In Italy, Canada more than pulled her weight in the road to liberation and ultimate victory! In many ways, Italy is where victory in Europe began.
Prior to landing on the mainland across the Strait of Messina the Canadians had already shown their resolve having fought through more kilometers than any other formation in the Eighth Army ending the rule of Mussolini.
Your journey begins with your arrival in Rome “the Eternal City.” From Rome we will be transported to Pescara overlooking the beauty of the Adriatic with a picturesque lunch along the way.
The village of Ortona marks is our first historical stop and begins a week touring up and down the Gustav line. In the days surrounding Christmas Day 1943 in the rubble of Ortona, in what one reporter called the “Courtyard of Hell”, was where Canadians fought their most famous battle during the campaign. Ortona, the “Italian Stalingrad”, site of some of the fiercest and most fighting in WW2 is a major highlight on our journey as we “Honour the Fallen” at the Moro River Canadian War Cemetery.
Famous sites including the Moro Valley, Casa Berardi, San Nicola, the Gully, stops in Campobasso, a significant Battle Honour awarded to the Canadian Army, known as Maple Leaf City in WW2 serving as the administrative hub of Canada’s Army, and the mighty bastion of Monte Cassino which blocked the path to Rome “The Eternal City”, the ancient centre of the Empire and a major strategic, political and psychological allied objective in WWII. In Cassino, stops at the Cassino War Cemetery, a visit to the breathtaking Polish Cemetery at Monte Cassino and a tour of the magnificant monastery is the home of the sacred relics and monastery of St. Benedict, the patron saint of Europe and the founder of western monasticism. The basilica was completely rebuilt after 1944 using the old plans, richly decorated in stucco and mosaics, enshrines the relics of St. Benedict and his sister, St. Scholastica, which survived the bombings.
Throughout the journey along with your hosts, you will be accompanied by two Canadian Armed Forces Veterans from Wounded Warriors Canada who will highlight the service of our forefathers all the while enjoying the rich cuisine, flavours, beauty and broader history of the Italian people.