In this article I analyzed the journey of Italy’s soldiers from home to the port of embarkation. Far from a united and uniform fighting force, I showed that Italian soldiers originally conceived of their enlistment in strikingly divergent terms. At the outset of the campaign some were clearly reluctant, suspicious recruits. Others, meanwhile, were broadly enthusiastic about the adventure and adversity that lay ahead. But all–to some degree or another–had yet to take firm personal ownership of the campaign they had been called to serve. Nonetheless, over the course of these soldiers’ journeys south, their first engagements with the country and countrymen that existed beyond the domains of their provincial homes ultimately yielded a crucial measure of national solidarity by the time of their embarkation for the Ethiopian front.