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Kesselring Bunker Recoaro Spa

Not only Belle Époque: on the trail of World War II.


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Where is


Via Fonti Centrali, 1, 36076 Recoaro Terme VI, Italia (0m s.l.m.)


What it is and where it is

The thermal compendium of Recoaro Terme is a small paradise from which to enjoy the view of the Little Dolomites while relaxing among Art Nouveau buildings and the centuries-old park. But things were not always this way: during World War II these places became a German military base, and played a central role in the events of that period. This is precisely the story that is told by the Komando Bunker, the very one where, after the Allied bombing of April 20, 1945, negotiations took place for the surrender of German troops in Italy, decreeing the end of the war that was later signed in Caserta.

Why it is special

The cramped, at times suffocating spaces are made even harsher by the fundamental artificial lighting, relentless and cold. Entering this place today arouses strange sensations: everything seems so calm and static, that one would never guess that the very Bunker Comando is the only one among the bunkers of the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht in Northern Italy bombed by the Allies, with an exemplary action by American pilots that determined the end of the war.

Not to be missed

One Sunday a month, for half a day, the bunker can be visited in a very special context: memories of the past take shape, the footsteps and voices of soldiers echo back between the walls and on the street in front. This is the historical re-enactment curated by the Recoaro Bunker Association, which gives an even better understanding of what happened here during the years of German occupation.

A bit of history

Recoaro Terme in mid-September 1944 became the headquarters of the Oberbefehl Süd-West, Superior Southwest Command of the Wehrmacht, and of Army Group C Headquarters led by Field Marshal Albert Kesselring. On this Command depended all German military activity in northern Italy to counter the Allies on the Tuscan-Emilian Apennine front. On May 17, 1944, the Germans began work on their new headquarters. The project included offices, housing for the military, and air raid shelters in the Fonti area and in the city center. The relocation of the High Command to Recoaro Terme took place in mid-September 1944. The military occupied the main downtown hotels, schools, all stately villas and all buildings in the Central Sources.


The Komando Bunker was not and is not the only one in Recoaro Terme: the very presence of the German High Command explains a unique concentration of air raid shelters. In relation to area and population there is no other place in the Veneto and perhaps in northern Italy with such a large number of shelters in tunnels and above ground. Inside one of them one can still read the phrase, "Hitler cannot be bent, long live the German soldiers."

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Recommended by
Paolo Asnicar

A historic place, still well maintained with egregious work done by the Bunker Association, to visit to understand the end of the war in Italy.