On the tracks of history

A long trip for a long history

A cycling event in memory of forgotten of the Great War and dedicated to humanitarian work of marchioness Gemma Guerrieri Gonzaga.
A cycling trip of memory, organized by "Società Ciclistica " of Avio, starting from the Russian city of Kirsanov visiting the places, where some of the most bloody battles of the Great War were fought, and ending at "Tenuta San Leonardo" in Avio, passing by "Bell of the Fallen" in Rovereto. The starting point in the city of Kirsanov has very important meaning, because in that place there was a huge prisoner-camp for thousands of captured Italian-speaking Austrians. From that city of European Russia, in the autumn of 1916, 4000 soldiers came back home thanks also to the marchioness Gemma Guerrieri Gonzaga (born De Gresti) of Avio. The marchioness Gemma, grandmother of the marquis Carlo Guerrieri Gonzaga, the actual owner of Tenuta San Leonardo, in autumn 1914 was involved in the research of a young local farmer captured on the eastern front as an Austrian soldier. This active and passionate research gave birth to a real humanitarian project that works till the death of the noblewoman and that helped thousands of prisoners to come back home to their families. The stop at "the Bell of the Fallen" has a double meaning, first as a symbol of peace, and then because it was created thanks to the contribution of the marchioness, who convinced the Italian Army to give the required materials to Don Rossaro to achieve the bell, made by the bronze of melted cannons from the 19 belligerent nations.   The route The itinerary, 3000 kilometres long with a difference in height of 13.000 metres, will involve six cyclists, who will visit and celebrate the memory to the places of the most important battles, to combine the love for sport, for culture and for history. For the transfer to Kirsanov there will be two buses running from the square of the railway station in Avio, recently dedicated to the marchioness Gemma de Gresti Guerrieri Gonzaga, a symbolic place, where the local soldiers left for the front in the first months of the Great War. Arriving in the Russian city there will be a commemoration at the cemetery, and then will start the tip-back by bike, going across seven nations in three weeks.


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