When

(even here)

the bombs
were falling

1944-1945:
the Allied raids
on Modena

The symbolic places

Document

During the Second World War, Italy experienced the meaning of ‘total war’ as well: the Allies’ bombing raids, aimed at defeating Nazi-Fascism, had consequences that were as inevitable as they were tragic, even on the civilian population. 

Between February 1944 and April 1945, the city of Modena suffered hundreds of attacks of various kinds that hit the main infrastructural junctions, major industries and, by mistake, even the historic city centre.

The raids from the sky changed the face of the city and the lives of its inhabitants: hundreds were killed, thousands displaced; dozens of bomb shelters were built; the spire of the Ghirlandina tower was equipped with a siren, to be activated to alert the entire community. 

On the occasion of the 80th anniversary of the first bombing raids on the city in February 1944, the Committee for History and Memories of the Council of Modena, together with the Historical Institute of Modena, the Women’s Documentation Centre and PopHistory, promoted the project ‘When (here too) the bombs were falling. 1944-45: the allies’ incursions on Modena’.

Among the suggested initiatives: a visit to the rooms of the former Albergo Diurno in Piazza Mazzini where it is possible to experience being in a bomb shelter during a raid, seminars, urban trekking and the setting up of a series of installations in significant places in the city during the difficult bombing season.

By consulting the interactive map, it is possible to investigate the history of these places, learn which were hit and destroyed and which instead became places of refuge for the population.

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