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Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Rome War Cemetery - an isolated reminder of World War II




Lesser known than its partner across the road, the Rome War Cemetery is no less peaceful, or sobering.  Here lie the remains of over 400 Commonwealth soldiers who died, defending Italy, in World War II.  Like the Protestant Cemetery in Rome, where Keats, Shelley, Gramsci and others are buried or memorialized, this cemetery is nestled against the Aurelian Walls and the tombstones are solemn reminders of the sacrifices of the English and their Commonwealth countries.  The cemetery began as a burying ground for the soldiers garrisoned in Rome, when it was occupied by the Allies after the Germans left the city on June 3, 1944, but it also includes the bodies of soldiers from the surrounding area, as well as those who died as POWs.  There are, of course, much larger British cemeteries in Cassino and Anzio, and elsewhere in Italy.

The memorial at right includes a stone from Hadrian's Wall - in the UK - the northernmost point of the Roman Empire, tying the United Kingdom historically to Italy for some 2000 years.

To visit the Rome War Cemetery, either walk around Monte Testaccio, or walk past the Protestant Cemetery - further away from the Pyramid.  Address:  via Nicola Zabaglia, 50. The cemetery is open only when the gardeners are there:  Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m. - noon, and 12:30 - 3 p.m.

Dianne
plaque with the stone from Hadrian's Wall

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