Verbania is the most populous comune and the capital city of the province of Verbano-Cusio-Ossola in the Piedmont region of northwest Italy. It is situated on the shore of Lake Maggiore, about 91 km north-west of Milan and about 40 km from Locarno in Switzerland, it had a population of 30,827 at 1 January 2017. It faces the city of Stresa lying at a direct distance of 3.7 km across Lake Maggiore, 16 km by road. The present-day Verbania was created by the 1939 merger of the cities of Intra and Suna, other frazioni. Since 1992 it has been the capital of the province of Verbano-Cusio-Ossola. A small islet lying a stone's throw from the shores of the Pallanza frazione and separated from it by a narrow stretch of water just 10 or 15 metres wide, known as the Isolino di San Giovanni, is famous for having been the home of Arturo Toscanini between the years of 1927 and 1952. Verbania consists of the following localities: Antoliva, Biganzolo, Fondotoce, Pallanza, Suna, Torchiedo and Zoverallo; the climate is temperate, with hot summer and continental type influences in the inland and higher areas.
The area is characterized by hot summers. Giardini Botanici Villa Taranto is an estate with fine botanical gardens. Verbania-Pallanza railway station, opened in 1905, forms part of the Milan–Domodossola railway, it is in the Fondotoce district, between Lake Mergozzo and the river Toce, just upstream from where the Toce flows into Lake Maggiore. Verbania is twinned with the following cities and towns: Bourg-de-Péage, France Crikvenica, Croatia East Grinstead, United Kingdom Mindelheim, Germany Sant Feliu de Guíxols, Spain Schwaz, Austria Piatra Neamţ, Romania Hendersonville, North Carolina, USA Samuele Beretta, footballer Beniamino Bonomi, canoeist Emanuela Brizio, mountain runner Luigi Cadorna, Field Marshal of Italy during World War I Raffaele Cadorna, Jr. general Emma Morano, former world's oldest living person from 12 May 2016 until her death on 15 April 2017 Angelo Pagotto, footballer Bernhard Riemann, mathematician S. S. Verbania Calcio István Türr#Pallanza Dignitary "Pallanza". Encyclopædia Britannica.
20. 1911. P. 637. Official website Official Tourism Gateway Lake Maggiore Official Tourism Gateway
Italy the Italian Republic, is a country in Southern Europe. Located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, Italy shares open land borders with France, Austria and the enclaved microstates San Marino and Vatican City. Italy covers an area of 301,340 km2 and has a temperate seasonal and Mediterranean climate. With around 61 million inhabitants, it is the fourth-most populous EU member state and the most populous country in Southern Europe. Due to its central geographic location in Southern Europe and the Mediterranean, Italy has been home to a myriad of peoples and cultures. In addition to the various ancient peoples dispersed throughout modern-day Italy, the most famous of which being the Indo-European Italics who gave the peninsula its name, beginning from the classical era and Carthaginians founded colonies in insular Italy and Genoa, Greeks established settlements in the so-called Magna Graecia, while Etruscans and Celts inhabited central and northern Italy respectively; the Italic tribe known as the Latins formed the Roman Kingdom in the 8th century BC, which became a republic with a government of the Senate and the People.
The Roman Republic conquered and assimilated its neighbours on the peninsula, in some cases through the establishment of federations, the Republic expanded and conquered parts of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. By the first century BC, the Roman Empire emerged as the dominant power in the Mediterranean Basin and became the leading cultural and religious centre of Western civilisation, inaugurating the Pax Romana, a period of more than 200 years during which Italy's technology, economy and literature flourished. Italy remained the metropole of the Roman Empire; the legacy of the Roman Empire endured its fall and can be observed in the global distribution of culture, governments and the Latin script. During the Early Middle Ages, Italy endured sociopolitical collapse and barbarian invasions, but by the 11th century, numerous rival city-states and maritime republics in the northern and central regions of Italy, rose to great prosperity through shipping and banking, laying the groundwork for modern capitalism.
These independent statelets served as Europe's main trading hubs with Asia and the Near East enjoying a greater degree of democracy than the larger feudal monarchies that were consolidating throughout Europe. The Renaissance began in Italy and spread to the rest of Europe, bringing a renewed interest in humanism, science and art. Italian culture flourished, producing famous scholars and polymaths such as Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael and Machiavelli. During the Middle Ages, Italian explorers such as Marco Polo, Christopher Columbus, Amerigo Vespucci, John Cabot and Giovanni da Verrazzano discovered new routes to the Far East and the New World, helping to usher in the European Age of Discovery. Italy's commercial and political power waned with the opening of trade routes that bypassed the Mediterranean. Centuries of infighting between the Italian city-states, such as the Italian Wars of the 15th and 16th centuries, left the region fragmented, it was subsequently conquered and further divided by European powers such as France and Austria.
By the mid-19th century, rising Italian nationalism and calls for independence from foreign control led to a period of revolutionary political upheaval. After centuries of foreign domination and political division, Italy was entirely unified in 1871, establishing the Kingdom of Italy as a great power. From the late 19th century to the early 20th century, Italy industrialised, namely in the north, acquired a colonial empire, while the south remained impoverished and excluded from industrialisation, fuelling a large and influential diaspora. Despite being one of the main victors in World War I, Italy entered a period of economic crisis and social turmoil, leading to the rise of a fascist dictatorship in 1922. Participation in World War II on the Axis side ended in military defeat, economic destruction and the Italian Civil War. Following the liberation of Italy and the rise of the resistance, the country abolished the monarchy, reinstated democracy, enjoyed a prolonged economic boom and, despite periods of sociopolitical turmoil became a developed country.
Today, Italy is considered to be one of the world's most culturally and economically advanced countries, with the sixth-largest worldwide national wealth. Its advanced economy ranks eighth-largest in the world and third in the Eurozone by nominal GDP. Italy owns the third-largest central bank gold reserve, it has a high level of human development, it stands among the top countries for life expectancy. The country plays a prominent role in regional and global economic, military and diplomatic affairs. Italy is a founding and leading member of the European Union and a member of numerous international institutions, including the UN, NATO, the OECD, the OSCE, the WTO, the G7, the G20, the Union for the Mediterranean, the Council of Europe, Uniting for Consensus, the Schengen Area and many more; as a reflection
Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus
The Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus is a Roman Catholic dynastic order of knighthood bestowed by the House of Savoy, founded in 1572 by Emmanuel Philibert, Duke of Savoy, through amalgamation approved by Pope Gregory XIII of the Order of Saint Maurice, founded in 1434, with the medieval Order of Saint Lazarus, founded circa 1119, considered its sole legitimate successor. The Grand Master is Vittorio Emanuele, Prince of Naples, since 1983; the order was awarded by the Kingdom of Italy with the heads of the House of Savoy as the Kings of Italy. A chivalric order of noble nature, it was restricted to subjects of noble families with proofs of at least eight noble great-grandparents; the order's military and noble nature is still combined with a Roman Catholic character. After the abolition of the monarchy and the foundation of the Italian Republic in 1946, the legacy of the order is maintained by the pretenders of the House of Savoy and the Italian throne in exile; the order is estimated to include about 2,000 members around the world.
The undisputed continuation of the Order of St. Lazarus is in the Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus, which continues under the pretenders to the Italian Crown. Both crosses from its two forerunners still exist in the insignia of their subsequent successor, today's Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus, founded by amalgation in 1572; the Order of Saint Lazarus, founded c. 1119, can be traced to the establishment around 1100, of a hospital for leprosy in Jerusalem, Kingdom of Jerusalem, by a group of crusaders who called themselves "Brothers of Saint Lazarus". From its inception, the order was concerned with the relief of leprosy, many of its members were lepers, knights in other orders, it became rich, its practices dubious, its funds abused. With the fall of Acre in 1291, the Knights of Saint Lazarus emigrated from the Holy Land and Egypt and settled in France and, in 1311, in Naples. In the 16th century, the order declined in wealth. With papal support, the Duke of Savoy became Grand Master in 1572.
Before its transfer to the House of Savoy, the Order of Saint Lazarus maintained a number of leper hospitals, including an institution in the Italian city of Capua. The Order of Saint Maurice was established in 1434 by Amedeo VIII of Savoy, during his stay in the Ripaglia hermitage near Thonon, named after Saint Maurice of the Theban Legion. From its beginning, it was a military order; the order declined, but in 1572 was reestablished by Pope Pius V at the instigation of the then-Duke of Savoy. In 1572, Pope Gregory XIII united the Order of Saint Lazarus in perpetuity with the Crown of Savoy. Emmanuel Philibert, Duke of Savoy, merged it with the Savoyan Order of Saint Maurice, thenceforth the title of Grand Master of the Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus was hereditary in that house; the pope gave him authority over the vacant commanderies everywhere, except in the states of the King of Spain, which included the greater part of Italy. In England and Germany, these commanderies were suppressed by the Protestant reformation.
The new organisation was charged to defend the Holy See as well as continue to assist lepers. The war galleys of the order fought against the Barbary pirates; when leprosy again broke out, the order founded a hospital in Aosta in 1773. With the Italian unification, the order became a de facto Italian state order for military and civilian merits, consisting of five classes: Knight Grand Cross, Knight Grand Officer, Knight Commander, Knight Officer and Knight; the related Maurician medal for Military Merit of fifty years, established in 1839, was one of the few medals not suppressed by the Italian republic, becoming the Maurician medal of Merit for 50 years military career in 1954. Brought back in favour by King Victor Emmanuel II of Italy, the order was sparingly conferred for distinguished service in military and civilian affairs as an exclusive award compared with the more common Order of the Crown of Italy. After Italy became a republic in 1946, the order was replaced by the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic.
Since 1951 it has not been recognised by the Italian state. The House of Savoy in exile continues to bestow the order on recipients eminent in the public service, art, letters and charitable works. While the continued use of those decorations conferred prior to 1951 is permitted in Italy, the crowns on the ribbons issued before 1946 must be substituted for as many five pointed stars on military uniforms, it became a requirement for a person to have received the Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus before receiving the Order of the Most Holy Annunciation. The accepted Grand Master of the order is Vittorio Emanuele, Prince of Naples, the current head of the House of Savoy. However, some of Vittorio Emanule's policies as Grand Master have generated controversy. In 2006, Vittorio Emanuele's third cousin, Prince Amedeo, Duke of Aosta, declared himself head of the Savoy dynasty and thus Sovereign de jure. For this reason, the grand magistry is now contested. Knight Grand Cordon, Special Class, For the Grand Master of the Order.
Battle of Caporetto
The Battle of Caporetto was a battle on the Italian front of World War I. The battle was fought between the Kingdom of Italy and the Central Powers and took place from 24 October to 19 November 1917, near the town of Kobarid; the battle was named after the Italian name of the town. Austro-Hungarian forces, reinforced by German units, were able to break into the Italian front line and rout the Italian forces opposing them; the battle was a demonstration of the effectiveness of the use of stormtroopers and the infiltration tactics developed in part by Oskar von Hutier. The use of poison gas by the Germans played a key role in the collapse of the Italian Second Army. Throughout the Spring and Summer of 1917, the Italians had launched numerous offensives on the Austro-Hungarian Lines in the Isonzo Sector, with The 11th Battle of the Isonzo being the most successful in pushing back the Austro-Hungarians. After the Italian success in the 11th Battle of the Isonzo, Emperor Karl knew a breakthrough was going to happen at any moment, as both the Austro-Hungarians and Italians were exhausted, running out of men to sustain the war.
So, he requested German Forces be deployed to Italy. In August 1917 Paul von Hindenburg decided to send troops from the Eastern Front to the Isonzo Sector. Erich Ludendorff was overruled. In September three experts from the Imperial General Staff, led by the chemist Otto Hahn, went to the Isonzo front to find a site suitable for a gas attack, they proposed attacking the quiet Caporetto sector, where a good road ran west through a mountain valley to the Venetian Plain. The Austro-Hungarian Army Group Boroević, commanded by Svetozar Boroević, was prepared for the offensive. In addition, a new 14th Army was formed with nine Austrian and six German divisions, commanded by the German Otto von Below; the Italians inadvertently helped by providing weather information over their radio. Foul weather delayed the attack for two days but on 24 October there was no wind and the front was misted over. At 02:00, 894 metal tubes similar to Livens Projectors, dug into a reverse slope, were triggered electrically to fire canisters containing 600 ml of chlorine-arsenic agent and diphosgene, smothering the Italian trenches in the valley in a dense cloud of poison gas.
Knowing that their gas masks could protect them only for two hours or less, the defenders fled, though 500–600 were still killed. The front was quiet until 06:00, when all the Italian wire and trenches to be attacked were bombarded by mortars. At 06:41, 2,200 guns opened fire, many targeting the valley road along which reserves were advancing to plug the gap. At 08:00 two large mines were detonated under strong points on the heights bordering the valley and the infantry attacked. Soon they penetrated the undefended Italian fortifications in the valley, breaching the defensive line of the Italian Second Army between the IV and XXVII Corps. To protect the attackers' flanks, Alpine Troops infiltrated the strong points and batteries along the crests of the adjoining ridges and Kolovrat, laying out their telephone lines as they advanced to maintain contact with their artillery. Specially-trained and equipped stormtrooper units led attacks, making good use of the new German model 08/15 Maxim light machine gun, light trench mortars, mountain guns and hand grenades.
The attackers in the valley marched unopposed along the excellent road toward Italy, some advanced 25 kilometres on the first day. The Italian army beat back the attackers on either side of the sector where the central column attacked, but Below's successful central penetration threw the entire Italian army into disarray. Forces had to be moved along the Italian front in an attempt to stem von Below's breakout, but this only weakened other points along the line and invited further attacks. At this point, the entire Italian position was threatened; the Italian 2nd Army commander Luigi Capello was bedridden with fever. Recognizing that his forces were ill prepared for this attack and were being routed, Capello requested permission to withdraw to the Tagliamento. Cadorna, who believed the Italian force could regroup and hold out, denied the request. On 30 October 1917, Cadorna ordered the majority of the Italian force to retreat to the other side of the Tagliamento, it took the Italians four full days to cross the river, by this time the German and Austro-Hungarian armies were on their heels, ambushing the defenders whenever they could.
These ambushes would become known as the Battle of Pozzuolo. The retreating Italian Soldiers were able to break through the Austro-German encirclement and retreat to the Tagliamento River. On 2 November, a German division had established a bridgehead on the Tagliamento River. About this time, the rapid success of the attack caught up with them; the German and Austro-Hungarian supply lines were stretched to the breaking point and unable to launch another attack to isolate a part of the Italian army against the Adriatic. Cadorna was able to retreat further and by 10 November had established a position on the Piave river and Monte Grappa, where the last push of the German and Austro-Hungarian forces was met and defeated by Italian forces at the First Battle of Monte Grappa. Before the battle, Germany was struggling to feed and supply its armies in the field. Erwin Rommel, who as a junior officer won the Pour le Mérite for his exploits in the battle bemoaned the demands placed upon his "poorly fed troops".
The Allied blockade of
Kingdom of Sardinia
The Kingdom of Sardinia was a state in Southern Europe from the early 14th until the mid-19th century. When it was acquired by the Duke of Savoy in 1720, it was a former Iberian state as well as a member of the Council of Aragon. However, the Savoyards united it with their possessions on the Italian mainland and, by the time of the Crimean War in 1853, had built the resulting kingdom into a strong power; the composite state under the rule of Savoy in this period may be called Savoy-Sardinia or Piedmont-Sardinia, or the Kingdom of Piedmont to emphasise that the island of Sardinia had always been of secondary importance to the monarchy. The formal name of the entire Savoyard state was the "States of His Majesty the King of Sardinia", its final capital was the capital of Savoy since the mid 16th century. The kingdom consisted of the islands of Corsica and Sardinia, sovereignty over both of, claimed by the Papacy, which granted them as a fief, the regnum Sardiniae et Corsicae, to King James II of Aragon in 1297.
Beginning in 1324, James and his successors conquered the island of Sardinia and established de facto their de jure authority. In 1420, after the Sardinian-Catalan War, the last competing claim to the island was bought out. After the union of the crowns of Aragon and Castile, Sardinia became a part of the burgeoning Spanish Empire. In 1720, the island was ceded by the Habsburg and Bourbon claimants to the Spanish throne to Duke Victor Amadeus II of Savoy. While in theory the traditional capital of the island of Sardinia and seat of its viceroys was Cagliari, the Piedmontese city of Turin was the de facto capital of Savoy; when the mainland domains of the House of Savoy were occupied and annexed by Napoleonic France, the king of Sardinia made his permanent residence on the island for the first time in its history. The Congress of Vienna, which restructured Europe after Napoleon's defeat, returned to Savoy its mainland possessions and augmented them with Liguria, taken from the Republic of Genoa.
In 1847–48, through the "Perfect Fusion", the various Savoyard states were unified under one legal system with their capital in Turin, granted a constitution, the Statuto Albertino. There followed the annexation of Lombardy, the central Italian states and the Two Sicilies and the Papal States. On 17 March 1861, to more reflect its new geographic extent, the Kingdom of Sardinia changed its name to the Kingdom of Italy, its capital was moved first to Florence and to Rome; the Savoy-led Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia was thus the legal predecessor of the Kingdom of Italy, which in turn is the predecessor of the present-day Italian Republic. In 238 BC Sardinia became, along with a province of the Roman Empire; the Romans ruled the island until the middle of the 5th century, when it was occupied by the Vandals, who had settled in north Africa. In 534 AD it was reconquered by the Romans, but now from Byzantium, it remained a Byzantine province until the Arab conquest of Sicily in the 9th century. After that, communications with Constantinople became difficult, powerful families of the island assumed control of the land.
Facing Arab attempts to sack and conquer, while having no outside help, Sardinia utilized the principle of translatio imperii and continued to organize itself along the ancient Roman and Byzantine model. The island was not the personal property of the ruler and of his family, as was the dominant practice in western Europe, but rather a separate entity and during the Byzantine Empire, a monarchical republic, as it had been since Roman times. Starting from 705–706, Saracens from north Africa harassed the population of the coastal cities. Information about the Sardinian political situation in the following centuries is scarce. Due to Saracen attacks, in the 9th century Tharros was abandoned in favor of Oristano, after more than 1800 years of occupation. There is a record of another massive Saracen sea attack in 1015–16 from the Balearics, commanded by Mujāhid al-ʿĀmirī; the Saracen attempt to invade the island was stopped by the Judicates with the support of the fleets of the maritime republics of Pisa and Genoa, free cities of the Holy Roman Empire.
Pope Benedict VIII requested aid from the maritime republics of Pisa and Genoa in the struggle against the Arabs. After the Great Schism, Rome made many efforts to restore Latinity to the Sardinian church and society, to reunify the island under one Catholic ruler, as it had been for all of southern Italy, when the Byzantines had been driven away by Catholic Normans; the title of "Judge" was a Byzantine reminder of the Greek church and state, in times of harsh relations between eastern and western churches. Before the Kingdom of Sardinia and Corsica, the Archons or, in Latin, who reigned in the island from the 9th or 10th century until the beginning of the 11th century, can be considered real kings of all Sardinia though nominal vassals of the Byzantine emperors. Of these sovereigns only two names are known: Turcoturiu and
Piedmont is a region in northwest Italy, one of the 20 regions of the country. It borders the Liguria region to the south, the Lombardy and Emilia-Romagna regions to the east and the Aosta Valley region to the northwest, it has an area of 25,402 square kilometres and a population of 4,377,941 as of 30 November 2017. The capital of Piedmont is Turin; the name Piedmont comes from medieval Latin Pedemontium or Pedemontis, i.e. ad pedem montium, meaning “at the foot of the mountains” attested in documents of the end of the 12th century. Other towns of Piedmont with more than 20,000 inhabitants sorted by population: Piedmont is surrounded on three sides by the Alps, including Monviso, where the Po rises, Monte Rosa, it borders with France and the Italian regions of Lombardy, Aosta Valley and for a small fragment with Emilia Romagna. The geography of Piedmont is 43.3 % mountainous, along with extensive areas of plains. Piedmont is the second largest of Italy's 20 regions, after Sicily, it is broadly coincident with the upper part of the drainage basin of the river Po, which rises from the slopes of Monviso in the west of the region and is Italy's largest river.
The Po drains the semicircle formed by the. From the highest peaks, the land slopes down to hilly areas, to the upper, to the lower great Padan Plain; the boundary between the two is characterised by resurgent springs—typical of the Padan Plain—which supply fresh water to the rivers and a dense network of irrigation canals. The countryside is diverse: from the rugged peaks of the massifs of Monte Rosa and of Gran Paradiso, to the damp rice paddies of Vercelli and Novara, from the gentle hillsides of the Langhe and of Montferrat to the plains. 7.6% of the entire territory is considered protected area. There are 56 different national or regional parks, one of the most famous is the Gran Paradiso National Park located between Piedmont and the Aosta Valley. Piedmont was inhabited in early historic times by Celtic-Ligurian tribes such as the Taurini and the Salassi, they were subdued by the Romans, who founded several colonies there including Augusta Taurinorum and Eporedia. After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, the region was successively invaded by the Burgundians, the Ostrogoths, East Romans and Franks.
In the 9th -- 10th centuries there were further incursions by the Saracens. At the time Piedmont, as part of the Kingdom of Italy within the Holy Roman Empire, was subdivided into several marches and counties. In 1046, Oddo of Savoy added Piedmont with a capital at Chambéry. Other areas remained independent, such as the powerful comuni of Asti and Alessandria and the marquisates of Saluzzo and Montferrat; the County of Savoy was elevated to a duchy in 1416, Duke Emanuele Filiberto moved the seat to Turin in 1563. In 1720, the Duke of Savoy became King of Sardinia, founding what evolved into the Kingdom of Sardinia and increasing Turin's importance as a European capital; the Republic of Alba was created in 1796 as a French client republic in Piedmont. A new client republic, the Piedmontese Republic, existed between 1798 and 1799 before it was reoccupied by Austrian and Russian troops. In June 1800 a third client republic, the Subalpine Republic, was established in Piedmont, it fell under full French control in 1801 and it was annexed by France in September 1802.
In the congress of Vienna, the Kingdom of Sardinia was restored, furthermore received the Republic of Genoa to strengthen it as a barrier against France. Piedmont was a springboard for Italy's unification in 1859–1861, following earlier unsuccessful wars against the Austrian Empire in 1820–1821 and 1848–1849; this process is sometimes referred to as Piedmontisation. However, the efforts were countered by the efforts of rural farmers; the House of Savoy became Kings of Italy, Turin became the capital of Italy. However, when the Italian capital was moved to Florence, to Rome, the administrative and institutional importance of Piedmont was reduced and the only remaining recognition to Piedmont's historical role was that the crown prince of Italy was known as the Prince of Piedmont. After Italian unification, Piedmont was one of the most important regions in the first Italian industrialization. Lowland Piedmont is a fertile agricultural region; the main agricultural products in Piedmont are cereals, including rice, representing more than 10% of national production, grapes for wine-making and milk.
With more than 800,000 head of cattle in 2000, livestock production accounts for half of final agricultural production in Piedmont. Piedmont is one of the great winegrowing regions in Italy. More than half of its 700 square kilometres of vineyards are registered with DOC designations, it produces prestigious wines as Barolo, from the Langhe near Alba, the Moscato d'Asti as well as the sparkling Asti from the vineyards around Asti. Indigenous grape varieties include Nebbiolo, Dolcetto, Freisa and Brachetto; the region contains major industrial centres, the main of, Turin, home to the FIAT automobile works. Olivetti, once a major electronics industry whose plant was in Scarmagno, near Ivrea, has now turned into a small-sc
Battles of the Isonzo
The Battles of the Isonzo were a series of 12 battles between the Austro-Hungarian and Italian armies in World War I on the territory of present-day Slovenia, the remainder in Italy along the Isonzo River on the eastern sector of the Italian Front between June 1915 and November 1917. In April 1915, in the secret Treaty of London, Italy was promised by the Allies some of the territories of Austro-Hungarian Empire which were inhabited by ethnic Slovenes. Italian Field Marshal Luigi Cadorna, a staunch proponent of the frontal assault planned breaking onto the Slovenian plateau, taking Ljubljana and threatening Vienna; the area between the northernmost part of the Adriatic Sea and the sources of the Isonzo River thus became the scene of twelve successive battles. As a result, the Austro-Hungarians were forced to move some of their forces from the Eastern Front and a war in the mountains around the Isonzo River began; the sixty-mile long Soča River at the time ran inside Austria-Hungary in parallel to the border with Italy, from the Vršič and Predil passes in the Julian Alps to the Adriatic Sea, widening a few kilometers north of Gorizia, thus opening a narrow corridor between Northern Italy and Central Europe, which goes through the Vipava Valley and the low north-eastern edge of the Karst Plateau to Inner Carniola and Ljubljana.
The corridor is known as the "Ljubljana Gate". By the autumn of 1915 one mile had been won by Italian troops, by October 1917 a few Austrian mountains and some square miles of land had changed hands several times. Italian troops did not reach the port of Trieste, the Italian General Luigi Cadorna's initial target, until after the Armistice. With the rest of the mountainous 400-mile length of the Front being everywhere dominated by Austro-Hungarian forces, the Soča was the only practical area for Italian military operations during the war; the Austrians had fortified the mountains ahead of the Italians' entry into the war on 23 May 1915. Italian Chief of Staff Luigi Cadorna judged that Italian gains were most feasible at the coastal plain east of the lower end of the Soča; however he believed that the Italian army could strike further north and bypass the mountains either side of the river so as to come at the Austro-Hungarian forces in the rear. Cadorna had not expected operations in the Isonzo sector to be easy.
He was well aware that the river was prone to flooding – and indeed there were record rainfalls during 1914–18. Further, when attacking further north the Italian army was faced with something of a dilemma: in order to cross the Isonzo safely it needed to neutralise the Austro-Hungarian defenders on the mountains above. In the south geographic peculiarities, including an array of ridges and valleys gave an advantage to the Austro-Hungarian defenders. Despite the huge effort and resources poured into the continuing Isonzo struggle the results were invariably disappointing and without real tactical merit given the geographical difficulties that were inherent in the campaign. Cumulative casualties of the numerous battles of the Isonzo were enormous. Half of the entire Italian war death total – some 300,000 of 600,000 – were suffered along the Soča. Austro-Hungarian losses, while by no means as numerous were high at around 200,000. More than 30,000 casualties were ethnic Slovenes, majority of them being drafted in the Austro-Hungarian Army, while Slovene civil inhabitants from the Gorizia and Gradisca region suffered in many thousands because they were resettled in refugee camps where Slovene refugees were treated as state enemies by Italians and some thousands died of malnutrition in Italian refugee camps.
With continuous combat in the area, the precise number of battles forming the Isonzo campaign is debatable. Some historians have assigned distinct names to a couple of the Isonzo struggles, most notably at Kobarid in October 1917, which would otherwise form the Twelfth Battle of the Isonzo; the fact that the battles were always named after the Isonzo River in Italy, was considered by some a propaganda success for Austria-Hungary: it highlighted the repeated Italian failure to breach this landmark frontier of the Empire. The Isonzo campaign comprised the following battles: First Battle of the Isonzo – 23 June–7 July 1915 Second Battle of the Isonzo – 18 July–3 August 1915 Third Battle of the Isonzo – 18 October–3 November 1915 Fourth Battle of the Isonzo – 10 November–2 December 1915 Fifth Battle of the Isonzo – 9–17 March 1916 Sixth Battle of the Isonzo – 6–17 August 1916 Seventh Battle of the Isonzo – 14–17 September 1916 Eighth Battle of the Isonzo – 10–12 October 1916 Ninth Battle of the Isonzo – 1–4 November 1916 Tenth Battle of the Isonzo – 12 May–8 June 1917 Eleventh Battle of the Isonzo – 19 August–12 September 1917 Twelfth Battle of the Isonzo – 24 October–7 November 1917 known as the Battle of Caporetto Ernest Hemingway's A Farewell to Arms is set in the events along this front.
Italian poet Giuseppe Ungaretti's autobiographical poem, "I Fiumi", was written about the Isonzo whilst he was stationed on the Front. Mark Helprin's A Soldier of the Great War refers to parts of the Isonzo campaign; the twelfth battle is the subject of the novel Caporetto by the Swedish author F. J. Nordstedt, Stockholm 1972. FirstWorldWar. Com The Battles of the Isonzo, 1915–17 FirstWorldWar. Com Battlefield Maps: Italian Front 11 battles at the Isonzo The Walks of Peace in the Soča Reg