The Gothic Line stronghold
Monte Belvedere was the main stronghold on the second line of defences within the Gothic Line which, in the Apennine area on the border between the provinces of Modena and Bologna, extended along the ridges to Vergato, dominating the Reno Valley and above all highway 64. It was here that, after establishing the Liberated Zone and the Modena Armando Division, Armando’s partisans provided the Allies with proof of their fighting strength. In February 1945, when the Allies decided to break through the Gothic line starting from Monte Belvedere, they drew up the battle plan known as Operation Encore. The first phase involved the taking of the Monti della Riva, or “Riva Ridge”, followed by Belvedere and then the entire line of defences through to Castel d’Aiano. The American troops of the 10th Mountain Division were assigned to put this plan into effect, supported by the 1st Brazilian Infantry Division, whose objective was to take Monte Castello. The summit of Monte Belvedere was taken on the morning of 20 February 1945 by troops of the 85th Regiment.
The fortifications on the summit were cleared for access in 1999 and a monument to the fallen of the 10th Mountain Division was erected in 2006.