Wednesday, December 22, 2010


Volbarno is a very attractive little town in the mountains north west of Lonato. The river Chiese runs through the town and crossed by an 14th century bridge. On 4 August 1796 it was the scene of desperate fighting as elements of Quasdanovich’s 1st column attempted to retreat following their defeat at Lonato.

Quasdanovich commanded the Austrian column which advanced through the mountains to the west of Lake Garda. It was defeated during the battle of Lonato and began to retreat along the same route. There was confused fighting in the mountains as the French attempted to cut off the retreat.
To reach safety the Austrians would have to cross the river Chiese. When they reached the bridge at Volbarno they found the northern bank occupied by the French. Despite repeated attempts they were unable to force the bridge. This photo was taken on the French held side of the river

Jan is standing in the middle of the bridge looking towards the northern bank. The French held this part of the town and the hills behind.

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