An entertaining and informative journey across Italy in the footsteps of the great Italian political hero, Garibaldi.
Bestselling author of Italian Ways Tim Parks follows the hair-raising journey of Garibaldi, revolutionary and future architect of a united Italy, 250-miles on foot from Rome to Ravenna across the Appenines, to look at Italy past and present.
In the summer of 1849 Giuseppe Garibaldi, legendary hero of guerrilla wars in South America was finally forced to concede defeat in his defence of a revolutionary Roman republic. After holding the city for four long months against overwhelming foreign forces, it was clear that the only surrender could prevent slaughter and destruction at the hands of a huge French army. But Garibaldi was determined to turn defeat into moral victory.
On the evening of July 2 he led 4,000 men out of the city to continue the struggle for national independence elsewhere. Hounded by both French and Austrian armies, constantly changing direction and often marching at night, he, along with his pregnant wife Anita, crossed the mountainous Appenines.
After endless skirmishes and adventures the garibaldini arrived in Ravenna on August 2, with just 250 survivors. The group commandeered fishing boats on the Adriatic coast in an attempt to reach the revolutionary republic of Venice, but were intercepted by the Austrian navy and forced to beach.
The hero himself escaped, travelling back across Italy in disguise until he could finally embark from Genova, first for Africa, then the USA. Ten years later, his revolutionary campaign in Sicily would be the catalyst that brought about the unification of Italy.
This is the lesser-known story, brought vividly to life by bestselling author Tim Parks, who in the blazing summer of 2019, together with his partner Eleonora, followed Garibaldi and Anita's arduous journey.