In 2012, Ivan J. Houston, a World War II Buffalo Soldier, was invited to return to Italy by the owner of a villa his battalion liberated. He and his family would be guests at the 15th century Villa Orsini, now a Bed & Breakfast renamed the Villa La Dogana in Lucca Italy. These photos highlight the emotional return of Mr. Houston to Tuscany nearly 70 years after the end of the war, where the African American Buffalo Soldiers are considered heroes and liberators. The author and his family returned to Italy from 2012 to 2019 visiting the battle sites and celebrating ancient victories that will never be forgotten. His son and wife returned in 2022 to a welcoming ceremony of the dedication of the Ivan J. Houston room in the Brancoli WWII Museum (Museo Della Memoria Brancoi).
Please enjoy the beauty of Tuscany in the following photos!