Today we take a walk through the ruins of San Pietro Infine and visit the American side of the Rapido River disaster. We then tour the Commonwealth and German war cemeteries near Cassino and set out for the Grand Sasso where we'll spend the night in the Camo Imperatore Hotel where Mussolini was rescued by German Commandos.

We normally use the word, "ruins" to depict a place of antiquity. Two days ago, we visited the ruins of the ancient Greek city Paestum which lay crumbling for some 1200 years. Today however, we walk through the blasted ruins of San Pietro Infine which until December, 1943 was a vibrant farming community for two millenia. Destroyed in the battle fought here to open the way to Rome, the town was rebuilt nearby, leaving these stones to mourn its citizens who lost their lives in the battle.
The ruins of the Church of San Michele, San Pietro Infine.
A hint of times past.
Another view of the Church of San Michele.
Behind the Church, Monte Sambucaro.
The classic John Houston film, The Battle of San Pietro concludes on an upbeat note as farmers return their land and plant anew. We leave San Pietro with a somber sense of the great loss of life that occured here, but also with a sense of joy in the knowledge that as the war moved on, San Pietro was left alone to replant, rebuild and we pray, to remain forever in peace.

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