Museo del Monte San Michele

Top choice in Friuli Venezia Giulia

This small interactive museum deploys digital displays and an excellent virtual-reality experience to explore the horrors of the Italian front in the First World War. Knowledgeable guides take you through the displays rich in archival photographs, tactical maps and detailed narrative text. Well-chosen artefacts resonate powerfully: a rudimentary gas mask that failed miserably in a chemical attack in June 1916, a small hand-held pick to hack through the mountains, and a short club meant to finish off victims choking on gas.

The VR experience is also well presented with guides offering a thorough explanation of what to expect before the viewer is immersed in the trenches and a flight over the Tagliamento River in a bi-plane. It’s incredibly moving. Afterwards, you can visit the gunners' gallery dug into the mountain or spend some time on the viewing platform reflecting on the beautiful view of what was once a former battleground.

The museum can be visited as part of an itinerary linking various First World War sites, including the huge Redipuglia war memorial.

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