Memorial to the Fallen of the Italian Social Republic





The sanctuary of San Rocco in Palleroso, a small hamlet of Castelnuovo di Garfagnana, houses the shrine to the fallen soldiers of the Italian Social Republic. It was a place of commemoration for the veterans of the Monterosa division. Today it is celebrated by right-wing extremists and nostalgics of the 20-year fascist period.

The 4th Alpine Division 'Monterosa' was a combat unit of the army of the Italian Social Republic formed in early 1944. It consisted of 20,000 Italians trained in Germany for six months and operational in the war against the Anglo-Americans and in anti-partisan offensives. The division occupied portions of the front in Liguria and Tuscany, in the Garfagnana area, where it participated in Operation Wintergewitter with the Wehrmacht in December 1944. During the war, the Monterosa soldiers were the protagonists of violence, roundups and massacres against civilians (e.g. the killing of Lamporecchiana Maria Assunta Pierattoni in Arni), prisoners and partisans. They supported the Nazi army until their capitulation in April 1945.

In the 1970s, at the behest of Father Adelmo Tardelli and the Associazione Divisione Alpina Monterosa (Monterosa Alpine Division Association), composed of the division's ex-combatants, a shrine in memory of fallen soldiers was placed inside the church/sanctuary of San Rocco, consisting of several large marble plaques bearing the names of over 770 fallen soldiers, including those wounded in the Serchio valley and Garfagnana. The place was chosen for a strong symbolic meaning: the Headquarters of the Brescia Battalion of the 2nd Alpine Regiment were stationed here. The hamlet of Palleroso and its surroundings were often under Allied bombardment. It was liberated on 18 April 1945.

The shrine became a destination for veterans and people belonging to extreme right-wing groups.


Via dell’Affanno, chiesa di San Rocco, 55032