How should they remember it?

John Foot

  • The White War: Life and Death on the Italian Front 1915-19 by Mark Thompson
    Faber, 455 pp, £9.99, April 2009, ISBN 978 0 571 22334 3

Pinzolo is a sleepy Alpine resort in northern Italy, about an hour’s drive from Trento. Today, it is a prosperous place, living off winter and summer tourism, but for most of the last century this was an area of extreme poverty, and many of those who lived in the valley were forced to emigrate. There is a statue of a knife-grinder in the town, a monument to the job most of these emigrants did, in places as far apart as Sarajevo, Jersey City and Plymouth. The residents speak a mixture of Italian and a local dialect, although the Trentino region was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire until 1918.

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