Italy / Monument

Porta Santa Maria Memorial plaque




Standing above Porta Santa Maria, visitors can find the only plaque in Lucca that includes the hammer and sickle, symbols of the PCI (Italian Communist Party), drawn on it.

Vasco Braschi (1908-1944) and Luciano Tonelli (1913-1944) were two communist partisans from Lucca. They were killed on 5 September 1944, the day of the Liberation of Lucca, victims of the ammunition fire with which the Germans protected their retreat towards the safer positions on the Gothic Line. Nine other partisans died along with them.

Braschi, on duty at an air-raid shelter, was wounded by a grenade and later died on 13 September in hospital. Tonelli was shot in a fight of ammunition fire with the Germans near the Foro Boario and died on 6 September.

A plaque on the wall of the castle of Porta Santa Maria (Porta Giannotti for the people of Lucca) is dedicated to Braschi and Tonelli. It is a very humble and bare sign, and is characterised by displaying the communist symbol of the hammer and sickle: it is the only one of its kind in the entire Lucca area.

The PCI section in Lucca centre was named after Tonelli until the 1980s.

Porta Santa Maria, Via delle Mura Urbane, Lucca