Maria Dolens

Maria Dolens

Being too far from Milan or Rome for the official New Zealand ANZAC day commemorations, we marked ANZAC day (25 April is also Liberation Day in Italy) with a visit to the Maria Dolens, also known as The Bell of Peace of Rovereto. Also known as one of only four sights listed on Rovereto’s Wikipedia page.

Some facts: the Maria Dolens has the distinction of being the second largest swinging bell in the world, and is made from cannons of the countries involved in the First World War. The bell has been recast twice and, according to information at the accompanying museum, was dormant during the Second World War. The bell tolls at nightfall, so we plan to make an evening trip back to hear/see it.

We also tried to visit the nearby Castle Dante War Memorial, a monument housing remains of Italian, Austrian, Czech, Slovak and Hungarian soldiers who died during the First World War. Unfortunately it was closed, due to Liberation Day being a public holiday (different war I guess?), much to the consternation of some visitors from Trieste we met outside the gates.

Getting to the bell was a bit interesting. Rovereto is a pretty tiny town, surrounded on the hills by even tinier villages. Everything looks close (on the map anyway, which of course can be deceiving) and definitely walkable, except that outside of town the roads aren’t exactly pedestrian friendly. We kept as close to the side of the road/metal barrier as we could, as we have done for other walks out of town. Our tourist map shows a few ‘Nordic’ walking routes, with the little walking man going the same way we did on this trip. So perhaps it isn’t unusual for people to be walking on the road..

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