Sulmona Trail Reports

Newsletter 12-2007

Il Sentiero della Liberta (Freedom Trail) – Sulmona, Italy 2007

By Isabel & Billy Nimmo

This year, accompanied by our younger son Gary and his partner Susan, we travelled to Sulmona to take part in the 7 th Freedom Trail from Sulmona for the first (and probably last!) time. Isabel’s father had been a POW in Campo 78 at Fonte d’Amore and, after researching his Army records, we had gone to Sulmona last year just to see the place. She was greatly helped by a young lady called Stefania Marcone from the Sulmona Tourist Office, who arranged for Mario Setta to come to see us at our hotel and he, in turn, presented her with 3 books about the Italian people and the Allies in WW2. We had tried, all too late, to prepare for the Trail. However, we did manage to complete the 3 days with a great deal of help and encouragement from everyone involved. We were “shadowed” by a young couple called Riccardo and Silvia and an older man called Stefano from the Associatione Protezione Civile, who were all absolutely brilliant. We were very moved on the second day of the Trail when we are asked to lay the wreath, in Italian colours, along with one of the teachers and a young man from the school, at the memorialto the young Italian Lieutenant, who was executed for helping the Allies. Going up into themountains really gave us a sense of what happened during the war and also brought home the sacrifices that ordinary Italian people made in order to halt Fascism and to help their fellow man. We thoroughly enjoyed the experience and would not have missed it for the world. In fact it has sparked an interest in hill walking and we hope to keep this up. It’s too early to say if we shall do it again but, as they say, “Never say never”!

Thank you to everyone involved in one way or another, who helped us achieve the Freedom Trail.