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Sabotin / Sabotino

24 July 2024


7:30 p.m. exploration of the summit ridge of mount Sabotin and its First World War trenches with Bogdan Potokar; departure from Dom na Sabotinu - Šmaver 2, 5250 Šolkan

8:30 p.m. possibility of dining at one's own expense at the Dom na Sabotinu restaurant (reservation required: +386 (0)31656603) or homemade dinner next to Dom na Sabotinu (bring your own food)

9:30 p.m. start of the performance next to Dom na Sabotinu

event language: Slovenian

information: +386 30313488

thanks to: Fundacija Poti miru na Posočju, Dom na Sabotinu, Bogdan Potokar

Sabotin, Sabotino, in Friulian Mont di San Valentin 

On August 6th 1916, during the sixth battle of the Isonzo, the infantrymen of the 78th Regiment of the Royal Italian Army, the famous wolves of Tuscany, conquered the summit and so doing ensured control of the threshold of Gorizia. 

A great challenge, great pride, hooray: if it’s true that Valentine was made a saint, the saint of love, to replace the pagan festivity of Lupercalia - a festivity aimed at guaranteeing the fertility of the flocks and, in particular, their safety from the attacks of wolves – the Italians could not have chosen a more suitable place to exalt their courage, their prowess, their nation. 

D'Annunzio masterfully distilled everything in his famous It was like the wing that leaves no footprints, the first cry had taken over the mountain, forgetting, however, to remember that the last pockets of resistance which had retreated into the mountain, made up mostly of Dalmatian soldiers belonging to the 37th Rifle Regiment of the Imperial Royal Austro-Hungarian Army, had been covered with oil and burned alive, just like Muath al-Kasasbeh, the Jordanian pilot executed by ISIS in January 2015. Like the wing that leaves no footprints... 

“Damned D'Annunzio” thunders Bogdan, banging his fist on the checkered tablecloth of one of the tables in his restaurant just below the peak of the Sabotin, in a building that until recently housed a garrison of Yugoslav soldiers.

When we go out and take the road for the open-air museum organized by the Pot miru foundation, he calms down and starts telling me about the trenches. He tells me about how the war here was “fought more with pickaxes than bayonets", of the impact that the fighting had on the morphology of the southern ridge, of the drafting of the border after the Second World War, and of the often friendly relations between Italian and Yugoslav soldiers: “They were always here exchanging coffee, tobacco and magazines with naked ladies”. 

When we arrive at the church of Saint Valentine he stops speaking because all around us is beauty and wonder: the snow-capped Julian Alps, the wooded plateaus of Banjšice and Tarnovo, the lapis lazuli Isonzo winding between the last hills, ending up in the Friuli plain and in the sea, and then Trieste, the bell tower of Aquileia, and between these, the sea, Istria, and then yet another sea.