April: the month of remembrance

The Italian Resistance in Emilia was a dynamic and combative popular movement that was able to create the Nazi-Fascist troops many difficulties. It is no coincidence that just the Emilia Romagna, together with Tuscany, is one of the regions that more than others knew how to keep up the national moral uprising against fascism before the arrival of Allied troops.

le-due-querce-resistenzaAt the brave resistance of the Apennines they followed several raids which took place in the spring of 1944 by the fascists, which also involved civilians. Next, the partisans who operated in the mountains as they tried to regroup to deal with the Nazi forces. Their activity moved to Mount Ventasso, which was difficult to access and of a strategic importance in the territory. On May the 4th, 1944 occurred one of the first actions of the Reggio-Emilia resistance: the assault of the fascist base Cerredolo, which ended with the shooting of a few soldiers. To answer the attacks of the partisans, the Nazi troops kill 5 Italian resisting the military service.

But the first great battle that involves the partisan forces occurred on June the 10th in Sparavalle. The Resistance forces gained a daring victory, gaining control of two strategic locations: Toano and Villa Minozzo. The territories conquered in the battle became part of the Republic of Montefiorini and already on July the 24th of that year in Toano the municipal council elections were held.

It was then that the Nazi forces began a recovery of lost territory that soon turned into a series of fierce raids that affected the entire Reggio Apennine. Toano was set on fire and the Republic of Montefiorino ceased to exist. Subsequently, the resistance was also helped by the actions of the allies, who, after an initial hiatus resumed their movement towards the north of Italy. The territory of Toano, Villa Minozzo and other nearby resorts, although retaken by the Resistance, never reconstituted as the Republic of Montefiorino.

Today the events of that bloody time they are remembered by the Stele of Manno and the Sparavalle Fortino, which at the time served as a strategic point in winning the Battle of Sparavalle. The Apennines Resistance movement was more successful than the resistance on the coast or in the lowlands, also because of a rich territory difficult to address for Nazi-fascist troops.