Catania to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the Sicily landings

More than a dozen activities are planned in Catania in July to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the Allied landings in Sicily, the city’s Museo Storico dello Sbarco in Sicilia 1943 has announced.

They include the Sicily 1943: Peace, Security &Prosperity conference on 7-8 July which will tell the story of the landings and how peace in Sicily was restored from Italian, American, British and Canadian perspectives. The event is supported by the International Forum for Peace,Security & Prosperity, a Canadian non-profit corporation.

Speakers will include Sicilian dignitaries and experts from Italy, Canada, the UK and the US.  The conference will hear presentations about  formations that played a critical role in the Sicily campaign including the Durham Light Infantry, The Green Howards, the London Irish Rifles, special forces and Canada’s 1st Division.

 US formations to be covered include the Tuskegee Airmen. These were African-American flyers who served in the campaign.

The Sicily 1943: Peace, Security & Prosperity conference is to be held in the Ciminiere conference and exhibition centre near the port of the Catania. This will be followed at the same venue by an international military museums conference on 9-10 July.

Other events planned in and around the Ciminiere complex to mark the 80th anniversary include at least two concerts in its 1,500-seat amphitheatre. Italian military bands are scheduled. There will be an exhibition of historic military vehicles and vintage Italian army and security force uniforms.

The Museo Storico dello Sbarco in Sicilia 1943 is to open a special section dedicated to the contribution of Malta to Operation Husky and there will be an exhibition of stamps connected to the operation supported by Poste Italiane.

A gala dinner is planned for 9 July. The commemorations will end with a closing ceremony and a tribute to the fallen soldiers in Sicily in 1943 on 10 July.

Connected events include a Remembrance Service for the 80th anniversary for the Sicilian campaign in the Catania War Cemetery on Sunday 9 July.

The 325k Walk for Remembrance & Peace (WRAP) organised by the International Forum for Peace, Security & Prosperity will start on Husky landing beaches on 10 July. Participants will follow the route taken by the 1st Canadian Infantry Division and 1st Canadian Tank Brigade in July-August 1943 from Pachino to Adrano on the slopes of the Mount Etna. The route will pass through 22 Sicilian towns.

Guided tours are planned to Sicilian campaign landing sites and battlefields.