DAY 1 Flight to Venice
En route to our hotel in Asiago we visit the lovely cemetery of Montecchio Precalcino for an introduction of our tour before climbing up onto the Asiago plateau. (Overnight in Asiago)
Starting the day with a visit to the remote Cavaletto Cemetery we begin our walk at Tattenham Corner with its stunning views over the Venetian Plains.
We continue to the small hamlet of Granezza, once a hive of activity when it formed the British Divisional HQ and supply areas for the troops in this sector. We visit the memorial to 143 (Warwickshire) Infantry Brigade placed here by the family of Lt Col James Merldrum Knox DSO & Bar, commanding the 1/7 Warwicks he was killed on the San Sisto Ridge in September 1918.
The adjacent CWGC is also visited containing many men from the June 1918 fighting including Captain Edward Brittain MC. Continuing forward we pass a surviving RAMC Dressing Station alongside an underground Italian Field Hospital and the sight of many of the artillery batteries located at Pria Dell Acqua.
Next is the stunning Barenthal Cemetery deep in the forest before we follow the trenches held by the Sherwood Foresters where Vera Brittain’s beloved brother, Edward was killed and Lt Col Hudson VC, DSO & Bar, MC led a counter attack by remnants of 11 Sherwood's, saving the situation and earning his Victoria Cross.
Passing the sight of small chapel we break out if the woodline and forward to the strongpoints and outposts held by the 9/York & Lanc's in front of the main 23rd Division positions, we then arrive back at our hotel. (Overnight in Asiago)
Amber Walks - Whilst there gradual rise and falls in the ground the walking is almost entirely on mettled surfaces, the day is fairly long in distance with around 8km covered. There are a number of non walking options should this prove an issue
In the morning we visit the Museo di Canove di Roana and the preserved trench positions at Monte Zavaletto before visiting Magnaboschi to start our walk. Here we see the stunning CWGC and the grave of Captain Lister RAMC, DSO, MC & 2 Bars.
Alongside is the evocative previous site of a joint Itailian/Austrian Cemetery, though the bodies have been removed the sprit of this spot remains and is completed with a small chapel containing a splendid carved South Staffordshire Regiment Badge. We climb gradually up to the foothills of Mount Lemerle and soon discover trenches and machine gun posts held by the Italian troops from 1915 and then the 48th Division in the last year of the war.
We learn of the Valle Gap and the problems to defence it caused in June 1918. Next we make a slight diversion upwards to visit the site of the 9/South Stafford's HQ, an impressive cave complex littered with debris from 1918. The battalion were the pioneers for the 23 Division and as such responsible for maintaining the roads and defences in this area.
We next reach Handley Cross, an important junction and supply area it was scene of an exploding ammunition dump early on the 15 June 1918 denying the forward troops essential ammunition. As we continue towards the firing line we reach the isolated Boscon Cemetery deep in the forest before reaching the site of Pelly Cross where infantrymen and gunners fired over open sights in a desperate effort to hold the line.
Finally we climb the railway embankment (now a peaceful pathway) and discover the intact defences of the 1/4 Ox & Bucks LI including a Machine Gun position carved out of rock.
Following Pelly trench we arrive at the infamous Ghelpac Fork where we meet our coach.
We end the day with a visit to the imposing Sacrario Militaire, overlooking the battlefield it contains the remains of 54,000 Italian and Austro Hungarian soldiers.
(Overnight in Asiago)
Amber Walks - Starting with a climb (this can be done is short phases) the ground then winds along a forest track, rough off road walking to bunkers and trenches towards the end, 4.5KM
After a morning visit to the imposing Monte Grappa battlefield and time for lunch in the medieval town of Bolsano del Grappa we drop down onto the Venetian plain to visit the lovely cemetery of Giavera with the memorial to the Missing. We then focus on the Piave River including the memorial set at the point where the 7th Division forced the crossing in Oct 1918, we end the day with a spectacular drive up into the limestone cliffs of the Dolomites and our hotel high above Cortina d’Ampezzo.
(Overnight in Cortina)
Green Day - no strenuous or challenging walks on this day
After visiting the museum at Tre Sassi and walking the Edelweiss Stellung we take the cable car to the summit of Lazaguoi (2,700m.) to examine this unique theatre of war where the two sides fought on vertical cliffs. The afternoon sees us take the ski lift to Cinque Torre to discover the lunar landscape of shattered limestone that houses numerous trenches and blockhouses which we will visit on our way to the foot of Tofana de Rozes and the extraordinary story of the fight for Il Castelleto
(Overnight in Cortina)
Amber Walks - Walking at altitude along unbroken ground 5km
Return to Venice and London taking in locations as time allows.