Tested Travel is a sucker for war stories that highlight how people come together in times of tragedy and adversity. The Italian Chapel on Orkney fits that model!
In 1939, in the days after a German submarine sunk the British battleship "Royal Oak" (see the post on Scapa Flow), Italian war prisoners posted at Orkney Island were commissioned to join two Nissen huts together to provide a chapel. Thankfully, among the Italians, there were artists (including Domenico Chiocchetti) and tradesmen (including Giuseppe Palumbi a blacksmith, and Domenico Buttapasta a cement worker). Together they created a wonderful, beautifully ornate, small chapel.
Now, 70 years after the completion of the Chapel, it is one of Orkney's major tourist attractions with over 100,000 visitors every year. And, a special relationship continues between the hometown of Domenico and Orkney.
Be sure to learn about some of the chapel's special touches including the heart stone!
More information on the chapel can be found here.