From the Shrine of the Flags of the Armed Forces (Sacrario delle Bandiere delle Forze Armate) in Rome, where it was kept, the “Bandiera di Oliosi”, the Oliosi flag, has returned to the small hamlet of Castelnuovo del Garda of Verona. It will stay for four months in the museum of the of the Municipality close to Lake Garda, which has been equipped with an alarm system for the occasion. An exhibition and educational trail with audio-visual installations has been set up in the building of the former primary school in the central Via Custoza. The flag has been placed on the first floor, protected in a showcase.

The “Bandiera di Oliosi” is one of the symbols of the Italian Risorgimento, recalling the historical episode that took place during the Battle of Custoza (24 June 1866), part of the Third War of Independence. On that day, some infantrymen of the Forlì Brigade, on their way to Castelnuovo, were intercepted by Austrian soldiers at Oliosi. Holed up in the farmhouse now known as Casa Benati, the soldiers, before surrendering, cut the flag into vertical stripes, which they divided and hid to prevent it from falling into enemy hands. After the peace treaty and their liberation, the flag was almost completely reassembled. This is the story of the Oliosi Tricolour, the flag of the 44th Infantry of the Forlì Brigade.

Monte Cricol, Mount Cricol, in the nearby town of Mongabia, is also part of the historical route. The climb to reach it is named after General Onorato Rey di Villarey, commander of the Pisa Brigade, who died on the morning of 24 June 1866 in a battle with Austrian troops for possession of the mountain.

The arrival of the flag in Castelnuovo is a great cultural novelty“, emphasises Giovanni Dal Cero, mayor of Castelnuovo del Garda, “we have been working for years to bring this achievement to Castelnuovo del Garda: we were told that the flag would only return to Oliosi if we had a decent place to honour it. Now the museum space is a reality and has been recognised as worthy of note and merit”.

The museum tour continues until 15 October.
Full ticket €3; concessions (11-18 years) €2.50; concessions (6-10 years) €1.50: free (0-5 years).

More information: