The 2023 European Heritage Label Candidacy

The project stems from a year-long cultural journey, launched in 2017, based on interdisciplinary activities which actively and preferentially involve young people from schools to Universities: with events in the international sphere (Erasmus+), curricular internships and informal tools, art, music and dance. They are involved in History Telling projects which promote art by bringing them closer to history and the practice of Memory. 

The project is based on training activities and events. Its spread is also aimed at citizens and the international community to promote the rediscovery of the territory, its identity and history, the digital, cultural and artistic growth of the youth, the defence of the Cultural Heritage, and scientific research thanks to the open access magazine Occupied Italy.Not intended as a celebration of military history, rather the exercise of witnessing for Peace and common values that underpin European integration such as respect, equality and inclusion.

The Gulf of Salerno, homeland for Greeks, Romans, Lombards, Angevins, Spanish and more, is full of places crossed by ‘Avalanche’. We have chosen to symbolically identify a single site so as not to discriminate against any other place that experienced those days. Battipaglia does not want to take over a legacy that is a common heritage, therefore is promoting this proposal and a committee that could survey and embrace them all.

The air-raid shelter in Battipaglia is the one we believe has the highest symbolic value because it is a reminder that the first victims of war are the populations and that nothing can provide them with complete shelter. The shelter is a physical reminder to always seek a real shelter, such as the EU forum where conflicts are resolved by discussion.

As such, they are places of remembrance, often set in landscapes of natural beauty: 

  • The landing beaches, 
  • The network of tobacco factories that were the fulcrum of German resistance, 
  • The caves where refugees and soldiers found shelter, 
  • The sea whose depths are still dotted with tanks, landing crafts and other wrecks, 
  • The hills on which the remains of battles and even soldiers can still be found 
  • The museums
  • The iconic sites, the English cemetery, the air raid shelter, the church in Acerno, the Hampshire sacrifice site, the airport, The the marbles room in Salerno

The area covers many towns including Salerno, Battipaglia, Paestum, Vietri, Maiori, Agropoli, Acerno, Altavilla, Olevano sul Tusciano, Montecorvino Rovella and Pugliano, Eboli, Bellizzi and more.