The monument is a statue of an Alpine soldier represented to hurl a hand grenade, with a rifle in his arms and beside a cannon. Built with six quintals of bronze and 5.5 meters high, it is placed on a single block of stone of 250 quintals taken from the quarry of the castle, surrounded by a massive chain that was part of the anchor of a military ship. The bombard was donated by the Ministry of War. On the tombstones the names of all the dead are carved: 42 for the First World War, 27 soldiers and 12 civilians for the Second World War.
The monument was realised with the economical contribution of the royal house, the town and many citizens of Pescasseroli, also emigrated to other Italian cities and to the USA. The monument was opened to the public with a grand ceremony on September 8, 1922. It was attended by: Erminio Sipari, Benedetto Croce (the then Senator donated also a contribution), Monsignor Marcello Pio Bagnoli, Bishop of the Marsi, and Father Giovanni Semeria, eminent Catholic intellectual. Thousands of souvenir postcards were printed.
On the long sides of the rectangular square, full of tall fir trees, the two districts of the Casette (small houses) developed, quake-resistant buildings constructed after the 1915 earthquake, which painfully devastated the Marsica. At the time, this area of the village was redesigned. As you note, buildings and roads have a regular imprint and the toponymy is related to Italian places of the Great War. On the short sides of the square there are on one side the Park head office and Visitor Centre, and on the other one Piazza Sant’Antonio, near an ancient stone column.
Text by Stefano Dark – Images by Stefano Dark and NPALM
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