Sunday, September 04, 2011
TO THE GATEWAYS OF FLORENCE
From 21 July to 4 August 1944, New Zealand soldiers were at the front line as Allied forces pushed forward across the heartland of Tuscany to wrest Florence from German hands. First published in Italy in 2009, To the Gateways of Florence preserves the core of the Italian book, with the addition of new material and photographs. It balances expert accounts by military historians – on topics from tank warfare in Chianti to the contribution of Maori soldiers – with personal testimonies of New Zealand soldiers and Italian civilians. A rich selection of photographs and memorabilia from archives in New Zealand and Italy illustrates the work.
Stefano Fusi is a Florence provincial councillor who discovered the story of New Zealand’s liberation of the Chianti region while serving as mayor of Tavarnelle Val di Pesa. Jill Gabriel, Stefano’s wife, translated the work; Jill is a writer and translator originally from Wellington who has called Tavarnelle her home since the 1980s.
To the Gateways of Florence - New Zealand Forces in Tuscany 1944
Stefano Fusi & Jill Gabriel
A New Zealand tank crew during a rest break
View of the damage to the Ponte Vecchio Bridge in Florence. Before abandoning the city on 11 August 1944, the Germans destroyed all the bridges over the Arno River except Ponte Vecchio.
Civilians on the ruins of the Ponte alle Grazie Bridge, destroyed by the Germans.
Florence War Cemetery, Girone