There was close quarter fighting, and indeed, the streets around Brescia have dozens of small dedications to the men and women who died fighting the retreating Nazis.
Colombini signed up to be a messenger – itself a perilous task – but in the final days as partisans flooded into the city, he was given a sten gun and three hand grenades and told to secure a property that had been used by the Nazis. It needs no explaining what he was to do should the Nazis return to the property.
Colombini secured the house alone for three days without sleep until Allied tanks shattered an eerie peace by entering the city.
Now 91, Colombini sits on a board that oversees the memory and dedication of Italian partisans. He contributes greatly to their outreach and education programmes. Outside their offices is a timely reminder that time will wait for nobody.