Italie / Monument
The monument preserves the memory of the Pistoiese partisans of the Garibaldi Division who fought in the former Yugoslavia alongside Marshal Josip Broz Tito's People's Liberation Army.
In 1941, Italian troops occupied Yugoslavia and several divisions were stationed inside the country. After the Armistice, the soldiers had few choices: try to return home, surrender to the Germans or fight them. The Taurinense and Venezia divisions, the latter partly composed of Tuscan soldiers, opted for armed resistance and, on 2 December 1943, they formed themselves in Pljevlja, Montenegro, as the 'Garibaldi Italian Partisan Division', comprising some 20,000 soldiers. In the following months, the Division fought the Nazi troops alongside the People's Liberation Army led by Marshal Josip Broz Tito. It recorded thousands of dead or missing men and returned to Italy in March 1945.
The decorated members of the Resistance in the Balkans from Pistoia include: Arrigo Bertini, Foriero Cappelli, Giuseppe Dolfi, Dino Lastrucci, Silvano Pastacaldi, Aldo Vannacci. One of them, veterinarian and partisan Villy Pasquali, who died in battle, was awarded the Gold Medal of Military Valour and, in Pistoia, a garden and a memorial have been dedicated to him.
On 25 April 1992 in Pistoia, a monument designed by Umberto Civinini was unveiled in remembrance of the Pistoiese fighters in the division in a green area of the 'Le Fornaci' district. There were about 200 of them, including those from the province. The work came to life from a block of rough marble from Tuscany. The four cardinal points are schematically highlighted on the round base, a circle representing the 'perfect world'. A sword tip rises from the large boulder: Civinini envisioned it as the same one that Giuseppe Garibaldi always wore at his side. The blade points towards the sky, protected by large trees that surround it. The sky sees that point and symbolically remembers the men, the partisans, the fallen of the Garibaldi division, everywhere in the world and in the celestial infinity.
Occasional commemorative events and ceremonies are held at the monument.
Area verde via Giuseppe Gentile, 51100 Pistoia