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  • Location: Cassino

The Curse of Pietro Houdini

The Curse of Pietro Houdini

Why a Booktrail?

1943: The monastery of Monte Cassino has an interesting story to tell

  • ISBN: 978-0857529268
  • Genre: Fiction, Historical, Inspired by true events

What you need to know before your trail

The bombing of Rome in 1943 leaves fourteen-year-old Massimo orphaned and with no choice but to set out on a perilous journey to find his remaining family in Naples. A chance meeting with the mysterious and charismatic Pietro Houdini will deliver both of them to the doors of the monastery of Monte Cassino, a centuries-old haven of contemplation, learning and art.

But the abbey is in the path of the relentless Allied advance to Rome. Pietro and Massimo need a plan to survive the coming onslaught and that means out-manoeuvring the Germans who are as interested in the abbey’s art collection as in the murder of two of their officers in the town below.
For their plan to work, they must dissemble, disguise, and outwit two armies using skills that Pietro has in spades, but as war edges ever closer, it becomes clear that Massimo is not without a surprise or two either…

Travel Guide


Monte Cassino is a rocky hill about 130 kilometres (80 miles) southeast of Rome, and stands tall at 520 m (1,710 ft). Site of the Roman town of Casinum, it is widely known for its abbey, the first house of the Benedictine Order, having been established by Benedict of Nursia himself around 529. It was for the community of Monte Cassino that the Rule of Saint Benedict was composed.

The 11th and 12th centuries were the abbey’s golden age. By the 13th century, the monastery’s decline had set in.


BookTrail Boarding Pass: The Curse of Pietro Houdini

Destination/Location: Cassino  Author:  Derek B Miller Departure: 1943

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