Mountain shelter “Pernici”
“When it rains, we have less visitors and consequently less work to be done. In those moments I like sitting down and reading stories of fights happened right here during WWI. Our mountains are harsh and wild and in winter they become really dangerous. The first enemy, at that time, was not the opposing army, but the mountain. If you consider we sometimes feel very cold in spite of our well-built shelter heated by stove and our warm clothes, imagine those poor soldiers wearing bad quality uniforms… and for the Austrians it was even worse because their barracks were on north slopes: in winter the sun would never shine there. As both sides were forced to live in those difficult conditions, they sometimes tried to help each other out. I once read the memories of a Milanese priest about the confession of an Italian soldier. On Cima Capi Italians and Austrians had built a sort of cableway to to exchange goods. When the Kaiserjägers, who were staying at a higher altitude, were about to shoot at the Alpine, the Austrian soldiers would warn the Italians by throwing pebbles on their barracks. This went on for a while, until an officer of the Guardia di Finanza (NdT: an Italian law enforcement agency fighting financial crime and tax evasion) received a tip and began investigations to cut off the cooperation between the the Italian and Austrian troops. The Germans were warned about this and were given the location coordinates of the officer. As soon as he went on the spot, the Austrians killed him.
100 years seems a long time, but not many generations have passed. The First World War is older than the second, yet I feel it closer. It took place right here, in our territory. It changed our towns and landscapes, it marked new boundaries and redefined balances that we take for granted today. Plenty of tunnels, trenches, shacks can still be seen in our mountains. Reading and talking about these events is essential – we should never conceal the signs that remind us what human beings can do”.
There is plenty of signs of the Great War near shelter Nino Pernici, the arrival point of Garda Trek first stage.
Marco de Guelmi is the manager of the shelter. It was built during the Great War: the building used to be the canteen of that small village made of barracks built in Bocca Trat, a strategic pass for Valley Val di Ledro. This was a tactical point along the Austro-Hungarian defensive line.
On the same defensive line you find nowadays the so called Path of Peace. This long-distance trail connects all significant places along WWI front in Trentino.