Archive for the ‘ things from the past ’ Category

Switzerland is famous to be a pacific country. But they know war too. Inside Grandson and Morges castles we visited two museums about military history. Here I selected some photos about some interesting pieces.


An armours row. Various types and countries.


Heavy steel on horses, the tanks of the past.


A Burgundian armour, sword and shield.


A Papal Swiss Guard uniform, the type before the actual one.


Swiss camouflage uniform. The pattern is very similar to the new Waffen-SS pattern of the 1945.


A revolver with a long, very long, barrel. Useless, I suppose.


Penetration of a modern calibre bullet inside wood.


A quadruple barrel pistol. Barrage fire of a questionable usefulness.


Cutlery guns. To eat with your weapons ready…


A daggers choice. Killing with style…

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In Rome we have got a lot of towers, fortified high buildings where you could control the country around, so now some quarters are called with the towers names, like Torbellamonica (beautiful nun tower), Torrespaccata (split tower), Torpignattara (potter tower), Torre Gaia (gay tower), Torvergata (rodded tower) Torfiscale (fiscal tower), Tortreteste (three heads tower), and so on… but in this post we are speaking about Switzerland and they have got castles, and we visited some.

Swiss live among higher mountains so not many people went to disturb them. But to create more problems to strangers they built a lot of castles and now they are the centre of cities or villages. We went to visit museums inside them or we just went to do a walk in their surroundings. One thing that disappointed us a little was that these castles were essentially built for residential purposes than defensive ones. Or at least what we see today is their residential resettlement.


Chillon castle. Placed over a rock just off the shore of the lake, it has fortified walls against the shore side, while on the lake side there are the rooms for the landlord.


Nyon castle. You can go through to come out on a panoramic terrace above the city below.


Neuchatel castle. Maybe now is the town hall.


Grandson castle. Inside there is a museum about the Burgundian siege. And an exposition about comics and castles.


Morges castle. A weapon museum inside. I will show you something from here.


Ouchy castle. By the lakeside of Lausanne.


I haven’t a photo of the Prangis castle that we visited, so you can have one photo of me during the trip with the car, essential to visit all these castles.

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Summer holidays at last! This time (9-17 August) I visited, together with my chaps Diego and Narciso, the Lac Léman & Lac de Neuchatel areas, the lakes at the South-East of Switzerland. We travelled with Narciso’s car, a comfortable vehicle without air-conditioner but with lower-able side windows. A lot of km along the Swiss Alps, among cities in the middle of water and mountains.

If you think about Switzerland as the Heidi country sometimes you have right. We found heat and sun. And cows, chocolate, emmental, watches and peculiar knives… Yes, stereotypes are confirmed! If you just want to limit yourself only to them…

These photos are taken at the frontier with Italy, 2000 meters above sea level. This eagle was built by Swiss soldiers during the WWII as a sentry towards us. I have got more photos but this is not the place for a lot of boring holiday souvenirs, as gay jokes at the Freddy Mercury statue in Montreux or our underwear portraits. But in the next posts I will show something interesting for you.

However, why Switzerland this year? Because Paolo, our friend and founder of our Legio Palatina club, married a nice Swiss girl the 11th of August in a church near Sion. His brother, and Legio Palatina member, Luca was with us from London (we are an international club…). Happy marriage!

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A shop about war in the night

The summer is hot and for a walk you have to choose evening or night to find some coolness. If you remember that I live in Rome, I have the opportunity to do some walk in a considerable city centre. Some time ago I went through a street, Via dei Giubbonari, where I step rarely because this place is specialised only on antique stores. I cannot afford half-length portrait made of marble or the like, so I’m not so interested in those old things sold at posh prices. One time I saw mr.Berlusconi, accompanied by his escort (the bodyguards…), while he was entering in one of these shops to buy with my his money something for one of his houses.

In the while of this last walk I found a new shop about uniformology and military objects from the wars of the past century. I took my mobile for some photos. I think that these materials are for casual collectors rather than professional ones because this location is posh. I don’t know if all is original, but I think so for the most. You can see some helmets, flags, decorations,… Well, it was almost a small museum along the way that I met through the night.

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Carsulae

Another benefit for my stay in Terni was a visit to Carsulae, an abandoned (pre-)Roman city near Terni. We have a lot of ancient remains here in Italy that we don’t mind them. So much history and so lack of interest in it. Even if I love archaeology I never considerate a visit to this site, but now I’m pleased to have did it.

This is a part of the old route of the Via Flaminia inside Carsulae. This road joins Rome with Ariminum (present Rimini), and therefore the two sides of Italy, sea to sea, through mountains. It was the way to have a road for the north, the other sea, and to control the territory even against Italic Celts. Now when I hear about Via Flaminia I only think about car traffic. In this photo you can view no congestion, luckily.

As remains you can view only some structures, mainly building foundations. I suppose that the walls were used centuries after to built other houses around: walls can fall after years without maintenance, and their bricks and rocks are available building material to all near communities. Probably you could find Carsulae inside the walls of later little towns that were born around.

The most evident buildings are the amphitheatre and the theatre, symbols of Roman civilization and necessary to a city to have a sporting identity and a cultural life. The last three photos taken from various angles are dedicated to them. You can see the stage and the bleachers with their structures, formed of walls made of white stones with narrow lines made of red bricks. The city is not entirely archaeologically investigated and large areas are still buried by the earth accumulated over the centuries, so in the future they could find more materials. The arena is partially excavated, its half is still filled with an earth mound and trees over it. It think they could find subterranean structures. An instructive and enjoyable visit under a spring sun.

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Weapon museum in Terni

I must write a report about my holiday in Terni, but I have to write the rules for my gladiator game too, therefore I will be a little slow with this duty. At the moment I show you some images that I took in the weapon museum in Terni.

It is not a real museum because they haven’t the money to structure it as a open exhibition. To visit that rooms, strictly only in the last Saturday of the month, you have to send a fax with your name to a military authority. This space is inside a barrack, the Italian Army centre of weapon servicing, so it is clear that you cannot enter here easily.

You can find a lot of light weapons, pistols, rifles and machineguns. There are even bigger guns around. Some pieces are curious, some are old, some are experimental items. I have only a superficial knowledge of this world, so I can appreciate only the design but I don’t know the history of single weapons.

I appreciate and know some models as the MAB one (Moschetto Automatico Beretta Mod. 1938) that I use as reenactor but I can’t go further. Here you can find all the history of MAB, from its firsts forms to the post-war models, but unfortunately there was running a special event on a military hero born in Terni and the panels with his history were on the glass showcases with my preferred machinegun. Pity!

Some long and short barrels. A pistol with that length is not so practical. Other weird things are the silencers, so bigger than the weapons that is incredible how you can use and store them. And if on this signal pistol they put a handle it means something for sure.

Under you can view two different kind of magazines: only a few bullets against a supply for a more intense firepower.

The usual posh weapon, a gun plated with gold.

If you want to know more and if you want to visit the museum go to their website: http://www.museodellearmi.com

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I wrote a lot of posts about this reenacment event. It was an intense experience for me and I wanted to show you that large amount of vehicles and uniforms. Mine is a replica of those of Gruppo Combattimento Folgore, the paratrooper troops of South Reign of Italy in 1944-1945. They are the English Battle Dress with Italian badges, because the old uniforms were lacerated by wear.

Here there is the same uniform but with the paratrooper suit and a more practical combat cap.

And now some images from our stop on the way to home. This is the tablet at Case Grizzano, a place, some houses on a hill, where Italian and German paratroopers found death only a few days before the end of the war, in a failed attempt to break the front in the plains from the lateral side on the mountains.

The cippus. Sad that there is nothing for the Germans.

The valley where Italians attacked.

A country cemetery, place of a German machine gun position. Now a empty cemetery.

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This event is a mobile one, it is a column made of vehicles, so you need a historical vehicle. Our little group prevently found four seats on a camion but a nice gentleman (Mario, thank you again!) offered us a passage with his jeep, a Ford GPW. It is a replica of the car of the commander (general Arturo Scattini) of the Gruppo di Combattimento Friuli, that fought during the 1944-1945 years in this area. The specific white livery is distinctive of the command role.



A little problem with the klaxon. And the possibility to view the motor.

Here a post on a forum with the official presentation of the refurbished jeep to Mario’s friends.

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