Bohemia Mia

Italian partnership

One of the consequences of World War II was moving out Italian citizens of Trident to Bohemia in 1915.

On 26th May 1915 the mayor of Buštěhrad received a telegram from the district councillor ordering to receive and take care of 100 Italian war refugees. Refugees were to arrive and be picked up from Unhošť railway station at 3 am next morning. This is how the story begun in Buštěhrad.

In 2008 the management of the town received an invite to a celebration of the 90th anniversary of the end of World War I in Valle di Ledro in Italy. No one understood why. Things from the past had been forgotten a long while ago. After initial hesitations town representatives decided to accept the invitation and eventually left for Italy. Back they arrived with a signed contract about partnership and a book titled Bohemia Mia. That was the beginning of a new chapter in the history of the renewed friendship and cooperation.

Since then, many mutual visits of representants of the 8 participating municipalities have happened, to both Italy and Bohemia. Not only communities and clubs but also individual families on both parties started friendships. These activities have been supported and approved even from the highest government posts.

An exhibition of photographs and documents was put together and named Bohemia Mia. It toured many towns in Italy, Czechia and other places in Europe making historians and chroniclers to dive into archives bringing documents about this war episode back to light: an episode that proved the strength of humanity and reciprocal help lasting over 100 years and still passing messages to new generations.

Dov´ é la mia patria? / Kde domov můj?

On 11th October 2019 in a meeting of representatives of towns that are members of the Czech-Italian Society of friends of Ledro, organized by Mr. Francesco Saverio Nisio, the Italian Ambassador and Italian Culture Institute of Prague, a new tourist map of Trentino Region named Dov´ é la mia patria? (Kde domov můj?) in both, Czech and Italian languages was ceremonially introduced. It highlights 17 major locations commemorating the exodus of Ledrenians to Chechia and Moravia during WWI. You may download this map in PDF on this site.

Contemporary descendants of the Italian war refugees named many places after Czech villages and towns that welcomed their ancestors among themselves for those 5 long years.

Together with a memorial plaque of legionary Josef Sobotka in Pieve di Bono, Milín Square in Tiarno di Sopra, or the statue of St. Václav in Czechoslovak legionaries’ Street in Arco near Riva del Garda, and other Czech places, there also is a Community house called „Buštěhrad“, to be found on this map. The name Buštěhrad was adopted after recommendation of inhabitants of Lenzumo in Valle di Ledro. This map in Czech and Italian language introduces stories of all towns, that helped to rescue human lives, that gave rise to whole generations living in today’s Trentino region. Countryside around Valle di Ledro and Lago di Garda is beautiful indeed, and people are very welcoming and friendly to Czech visitors.