Wartime Italy is a place of sunshine and shadows. A country torn apart by the turbulent dictatorship of Mussolini and the horrors of Nazi occupation, struggling to repair itself during the Allied liberation. Yet, it is also the land of spaghetti and spumante, the shores of Lake Garda and the Dolomite mountains, and into this drops an English girl who is quickly enchanted by the Italian landscape and way of life. A woman’s memoir of wartime is very rare, but Lucy de Burgh writes a sparkling eyewitness account of her time in Italy serving with the Auxiliary Territorial Service – Britain’s famous ‘girls in khaki’. Every day is a new adventure – from receiving a landmine as a love token from a would-be admirer to midnight swimming in ‘a small black lake, reflecting in its passive waters the millions of twinkling stars, the blue-black sky like silk spotted with polka dots’. Although she sees the tragedy and cost of war first-hand, she also makes friends, finds beauty and civility wherever she goes and is moved by the love of life of those who have lost everything. My Italian Adventures is being published as a contribution to The Monte San Martino Trust, a charity dedicated to commemorating the bravery of those Italian who had sacrificed their lives for sheltering Allied soldiers escaping the Nazis.