I was first in Italy in the summer of 1969, and I remember the tension then…
The short version is that in the late 1960s through the early 1980s, Italy was a hotbed of assassination, shoot-outs and bombings between various factions of the far-left, the far-right and the Italian government – with American, British and Soviet intelligence agencies often pulling the strings.
From Ammo.com, HERE.
And I was in and out of Italy from 1978 through 1986 with the US Navy… We were ‘always’ briefed to keep our presence low key, not to drive official vehicles off base, and were granted approval to have regular Italian tags on vehicles, rather than ‘official’ AFI plates. It was a touchy time, not just in Italy, but also in Greece and Germany. Reading this article sent shivers up the spine, remembering the crap that was going on, and I was glad I was down in Sicily, not up around Rome or further north.