36th Division in World War II

VIA ROMA

For eight months of the Italian campaign Naples, disfigured and dirty, remained the only major city in Italy to be liberated, the only playland for soldiers on combat recess. Here American troops came to sightsee, shop for gifts, drink wine, and meet Italian girls.
ONE OF THE MOST FREQUENTED spots on the Via Roma is the Galleria Umberto. In the interior are the more exclusive jewelry, painting, and wine shops. Bombing severely damaged the Galleria's glass dome. above, Naples street scene shows some modern shops.

Using the leading thoroughfare of Naples for his title, Pfc. Jon Forte, 36th Division bandsman, wrote a song that became a favorite with the troops --- "Somewhere on Via Roma."

"I was alone in Napoli
And there it was, it had to be!
She said her name was Angeline,
She was indeed a lovely dream.
She sang of love when hearts were free
Softly she whispered words of love to me.
Somewhere on Via Roma
I left my heart that day
She said 'My heart will go away.
Doughboys never come to stay.'

"I stole a kiss without delay,
Somewhere on Via Roma.
In Napoli, where songs are of stars above!
Sweet Signorina, I'll come to you, my love
Someday on Via Roma,
When the world is free again,
I pray that we will meet again,
Somewhere on Via Roma."

How urgently this fine port was needed can be seen as hundreds of vessels mass for Riviera invasion

 

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