The Second World War in Italy Intersession Program

Open to students and the members of the general public

A monument to Italian civilians murdered during the Second World War near Bologna, ItalyMay 5-27, 2018

Taught on location throughout Italy, the course truly explores the war and society problem by studying the Canadian army and other coalition forces in Italy but also the Italian social situation in Italy from the rise and fall of fascism to the brutal civil war of 1943 to 1945. Lasting reminders of Italy's brutal, but little-known, civil war are evident throughout its cities and countryside. In addition, Italy's unique geography made Second World War battles there especially difficult.  Thus, the wartime legacy and Italian terrain provide students with an ideal classroom and subject for studying the war in Italy.

Students will visit historic sites, monuments and battlefields. The tour begins in Rome where participants will see the highlights of the city and briefly look at the rise and fall of fascism as well as the partisan fight to keep the German army out of the city on 9 September 1943. The group will spend a few days in Salerno, Ortona, Cassino with a visit to Castel di Sangro, before moving on to Pesaro and Monte Sole respectively looking at the highly successful, yet little-known, Canadian contribution to the campaign in the battles for Ortona, the Liri Valley and the Gothic Line as well as a massacre, perpetrated by the German army in the autumn of 1944.

The three week course is designed as an undergraduate level course and can be taken for credit or audit by members of the general public. Participants will be guided around in nine passenger vans, allowing for the group to access obscure corners of Italian battlefields and tiny mountaintop villages not accessible by commercial buses.

Participants will be exposed to the many different facets of Italian culture throughout their travels. Instruction on how to order meals and manage a market visit in a foreign country is a key part of the course, making it an ideal journey for those who have not yet been to Europe.

Students are asked to contribute to the course by delivering a twenty minute presentation to the group on some facet of the Second World War in Italy as well as a presentation on a Canadian soldier killed in action in Italy who now lies in foreign soil. The course is also open to members of the general public, who can audit the course. Please contact the instructors for more information.

The Second World War in Italy is team-taught by Dr. Lee Windsor and Dr. Cindy Brown of the Gregg Centre. Contact us to find out how you can join us this May!