For American forces fighting their way north to Rome, it was the site of a heroic but hopeless stand, where only eight men out of two Ranger battalions escaped German troops.

For the Italians caught in the fighting, it was the place where they lived underground for months before being sent on a forced march north by the Germans.

On Friday, the anniversary of the roundup in 1944, this town between Anzio and Rome held its annual commemoration of the bloody events of World War II with ceremonies held beside a monument to victims of all wars and school children visiting the grottoes where their grandparents took shelter from the bombing.

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