On 8 September 1943, when the Allied invasion of Italy started, Sergio Pivetta was a 21 year old cadet in the Italian Royal Army. He volunteered in the Alpine Piemonte Battalion, a unit of Italy’s First Motorized Group, included in the U.S. 5th Army. With this battalion he took part in the Italian campaign. Piveta was moved by his sense of military honour and his desire to hasten the liberation of Northern Italy, where he was born.
During the Battle of Monte Cassino in March 1944, his battalion reached the top of Monte Marrone (1,770 m), just east of Cassino, in an attempt to break through the German Gustav Line. But they had no succes. Monte Marrone was considered ‘inexpugnable’ by the Allies and ‘unassailable’ by the Germans. For their brave action the Battalion Piemonte was awarded the Silver Medal of Military Valor.
After the war, Pivetta made a successful civilian career as a university teacher in Physical Education and Sports and wrote several books and articles. He also was an active member of associations of veterans of the Italian Royal Army. In 1975 Pivetta published ‘Tutto per l’Italia’, a diary about his war experiences from 1942-1945. He employed the royalties that he received for this book to finance the monument erected on the peak of Monte Marrone, a six meters high cross, surmounted by an eagle. In 1995 Sergio Pivetta received the honorary rank of Lieutenant-Colonel.