Film critics Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel revealed on The Oprah Winfrey Show (1984) to have walked out of this movie after a private screening. When the movie won the Oscar for Best Foreign Film, even so, they vowed to not watch the movie again.
The plane that lands on the improvised football field is a German built Fieseler Fi 156 "Storch", a liaison aircraft. It was able to take off after just 50m of runway and remain airborne at speeds below 50km/h. It was used extensively on all fronts by all armies of the Axis Powers.
The Italian Navy has had several ships named Giuseppe Garibaldi in its fleet over the years. During World War II a cruiser bore the name, but unlike it is shown in the movie no supply vessel was ever named after the national hero and general.