Visit the Memorial Acqui Division on Kefalonia
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The island of Kefalonia is rich in cultural history and natural beauty. Emerald and turquoise waters surround the island. The olive groves and vineyards provide greenery and lovely aromas to the surrounding areas. Kefalonia, Greece is home to archaeological sites, fortresses and castles, churches and monasteries, and important monuments.
One of the monuments you will want to visit while in Kefalonia is the Italian war memorial called the Memorial Acqui Division.
About the Memorial Acqui Division
The Memorial Acqui Division is a memorial honoring the Italian Acqui division from World War II. Located on the road to Fanari, the Memorial Acqui Division honors the soldiers who died battling the Germans, were executed, or who died on the way to detention camps. This is known as the Massacre of the Acqui Division as well as the Cephalonia Massacre. This massacre of the Italian 33rd Acqui Infantry Division occurred in September of 1943. Over 5,000 soldiers were murdered on the island while another 3,000 soldiers drowned while being taken by ships from Kefalonia to concentration camps after the ships were lost at sea. This was one of the largest massacres of prisoners of war to occur during World War II.
The monument honoring the Italian soldiers was created by the Italian government in 1978. There are many plaques at the memorial. The novel and movie Captain Corelli’s Mandolin took its historical background from this event. The movie was filmed on the island of Kefalonia.
Visit the Memorial Acqui Division
If you have read or seen Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, you might be interested seeing the real place where the historical background came from. The area is peaceful away from shops and crowds, so you will have time and space to read the plaques at the memorial and pay respects to those who lost their lives there. The Memorial Acqui Division is located on the hill north of Argostoli. The memorial is worth the walk up the hill to see.
While you are visiting the Memorial Acqui Division, you might also want to stop and see the St. Theodori Lighthouse. The lighthouse was built in 1828 by a British man named Charles Napier. During an earthquake that occurred in the 1950’s the St. Theodori Lighthouse was destroyed, but rebuilt in the 1960’s. The lighthouse has 20 columns and stands 8 meters tall.
Getting to the Memorial Acqui Division
Getting to the island of Kefalonia can by done by plane or by ferry. Once you are on the island and at the village of Argostoli, you will find the Memorial Acqui Division on the road to the St. Theodori lighthouse. The memorial is located next to the Catholic church. If you stop into the church, you will find newspaper articles, pictures, and other documents that tell the story of the massacre.
The Memorial Acqui Division is an attraction and historic site you won’t want to skip if you are visiting the island of Kefalonia, Greece. This memorial to the Italian soldiers who lost their lives there and while being transported elsewhere is touching and an important part of the island’s history.
This post was written by GreekBoston.com