A Perth museum dedicated to the Black Watch batalion has paid tribute to a big-hearted Italian family who opened their doors to Scottish soldiers during World War Two.
Troops landed in Sicily in the summer of 1943 as part of an allied invasion.
During their brief time on the island, they took shelter at the foot of Mount Etna, near a small town called Trecastagni.
There, they met a young Eleanora Celentano Grassi and her mother Giovanni Vigile, who offered them some much needed respite, music and good Italian food.
On Thursday, the Italian connection was celebrated by staff from the Fair City’s Black Watch Museum.
They met with Eleanora’s daughter, Laura Raimondi, at her Italian cafe La Sicilyana in Scone.
She said: “My mother used to tell us kids stories about the war, and she spoke fondly about an episode where she encounted these soldiers from Scotland.
“She remembered that when she was 10, she was playing the piano at home and all of a sudden, there was a face at her window.
“She screamed to her mum: ‘Oh my god, who are these men?’
“My grandmother told her they were Scottish soliders.”
Laura said the men were invited into the house. “Our family wanted to show them hospitality from the heart, knowing that these brave men were out there on their own,” she said. “They became regular visitors.
“My mum used to pay piano for them, and my grandmother offered them wine and food.
“For a couple of hours a night, they were able to feel like they were part of a family again. A real friendship developed.”
Three batallions – 1st, 5th and 7th – were stationed in Sicily throughout 1943. They left in November to prepare for D-Day.
“My mum remembers when they left, one of the soldiers gave her this beautiful handkerchief he had embroidered,” said Laura.
Unfortunately, the family lost the keepsake, but a similar handkerchief was found in the Perth museum’s collection.
Laura said: “It seems like fate that I now have this cafe in Scone, providing food, coffee and hospitality to the people of Scotland, just like my mother did.
“I’m so sorry she isn’t here to celebrate this.”
Anne Kinnes, chief executive of the museum said: “What Laura’s family did for these soldiers was incredible.
“They would have known how important family was to the people of Sicily, so to have been welcomed in like this would have been a big moment for them.”