We would not be who we are today without our history, and history means changings, inventions, but also wars. Nothing more than a war could change forever the people’s lives, especially if we are talking about the Great War. Gorizia and the entire Friuli region were deeply affected by the First World War, because before it, the whole area was not part of Italy, but of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Mostly populated by Italians, the region could not be integrated in the newborn Reign of Italy with the revolutions that took place in Europe during 1848, but it still was an irredentist area wishing to. It was also the government of Italy to desire to have Friuli back, so when the war finished and President Wilson spread the ideal of self-determination, the missing territory was finally declared Italian.
Despite the great happiness of having found their identity, the population had to deal with what they got after five years of battles and massacres. The region was the border between the Italian and the Austro-Hungarian reigns, and because of that, it has been the main battle camp. It was crossed by two armies, and continuously conquered or lost by one part or the other of the conflict. It was the scenario of one of the biggest massacre ever: the battle of Caporetto, where almost 10,000 Italians were killed, 30,000 wounded and 265,000 were taken prisoner. In addition, these were just the human losses: the territory was mostly destroyed or turned into trenches.
The Great War did not just take destruction to Gorizia: despite all the negative aspects, the population could finally be part of Italy, and it is not taken for granted to be part of a Country you feel to belong to, after so many years spent fighting against the invaders. This means that, at least once, so many lives were lost not for the governor’s wishes, but to free a subjugated population.