The ancient picturesque town of Ortona, chic was of immense strategic importance to the Allies, as it provided a rare deep port, became the arena of one of the bloodiest battles of WWII.
It has been called ‘the Italian Stalingrad’, and ‘the Courtyard of Hell’ for good reason. Of the two battalions assigned, 1,375 Canadian soldiers met their end, and almost as many civilians.
After the Allied success penetrating the Gustav Line, the crack German paratroops had been ordered to fight for every house and last tree. The British 78th Infantry division were exhausted after the succesful crossing of the Moro river, so the First Canadian division troops were assigned to take it. You will learn how they were obliged to engage in bitter house-to-house fighting, and how their ‘mouse-holing’ techniques effectively wrote the book of urban warfare.
Our Tour covers: the War Cemetery, near the Moro river, where 1562 soldiers of the Commonwealth, mainly from Canada, are buried; Casa Berardi, HQ of the Wermacht, in Contrada Alboreto (the house was conquered by a platoon of Canadian soldiers led by Captain Triquet, who received a Victoria Cross for his bravery); the Museum of the Battle of Ortona, which offers a detailed account of the fights taking place in the city around Christmas; a stroll through the streets of Ortona, to see where many soldiers enjoyed a quick Christmas lunch before dying in battle, to admire a view of the Port from the Orientale terrace, and to look at the medieval Castello Aragonese, where German soldiers tryed to organise the last defense
ROUND TRIP DURATION: 12 hours
WHEN: daily (except December 25th)
HOW: by private transportation (SUV, minibus, pullman, depending upon group-size)
MEETING POINT: at your hotel/residence
MEETING TIME: suggested departure 7.30/8.30 am
PRIVATE TOUR RATE:
€ 800 (for a party of maximum 4 people) - € 1100 (for a party from 5 to 6 people)
€ 1300 (for a party from 7 to 12 people) - € 1800 (for a party from 13 to 14 people)
BIG PARTY RATE: please read TERMS AND CONDITIONS
ADMISSION FEES: none
FINAL STOP: at your hotel/residence