First Centenary of the Bersaglieri


This postcard depicting a scene from World War I by Vittorio Pisani shows fighting by soldiers of the Bersaglieri (literally, “marksmen”), the elite corps of Italian infantrymen founded in 1836, initially as part of the army of the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia. Known for courage and daring in battle, the Bersaglieri were distinguished by their unique headgear: a broad-brimmed hat decorated with a flowing bunch of black grouse feathers hanging down from the right side. During World War I, most of the 21 Bersaglieri regiments saw service on the Italian Front, the 650-kilometer stretch of mainly mountainous terrain along the border with Austria-Hungary. The soldier in this postcard is seen operating a machine gun on a snowy hillside, alongside two dead or wounded comrades. Pisani was an Italian artist who in the 1930s and 1940s produced covers for the Italian magazine La Tribuna Illustrada, a weekly founded in Rome in 1890. After World War II he also produced movie posters.

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information

V.E. Boeri, Rome

Title in Original Language

I° centenario dei Bersaglieri


Type of Item

Physical Description

1 postcard ; 8 x 14 centimeters


  1. John Gooch, The Italian Army and the First World War (Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 2014).

Last updated: November 14, 2017