Updated: Aug 13
I have been blessed to find every site from the book that was possible. The only exception was getting inside the castle where my uncle Pietro was tortured to death. So I start every day with prayers of thanks for a new day and all the blessings from the previous day. This morning I felt a strong feeling that we should go back to the castle and see if we could get in. So we followed up on it and sure enough, there was someone in the castle that I could speak with. My initial query to get inside was meet with a very direct, No. So I told him the story and he graciously allowed me to come into the courtyard where the torture took place and take one photo. This is the inside of the wall. Note the two guard openings that would have been looking down on the woods where my father was listening. The goal of all public torture was to draw out the remaining men. Since the incident on the train, the Nazis knew that my father and another man were in the woods likely trying to save Pietro. My father realized there was no way and retreated after Pietro died. The full story is described in the book.
It was an honor to stand where my uncle stood to his last. Having seen the inside, and knowing how many Germans were in the large castle, it is obvious there was nothing my dad could do to save his cousin. After we left we found another bunker, but could not enter. In addition to this bunker, we also saw two German gunnery positions overlooking the Brenner Pass. Of course they have been permanently sealed so we could not enter.
After this full and emotional morning, we went up to "the top of the world". At 8,500 feet it's not, but it's an incredible view from where you can easily see Switzerland and Austria. We spent the entire afternoon just walking around and enjoying the view.
Thanks for riding along with us on our trip retracing my father's steps during the war. Trentino would love to have you visit some time...