Nostalgic Fascists in Predappio / by Filippo Venturi

Reportage about nostalgic fascists at the 74th anniversary of the death of Benito Mussolini.
Predappio, Italy, 28/04/2019.

Predappio is a small Italian town with a population of 6.000 inhabitants, situated in the province of Forlì-Cesena, best known for being the birthplace of Benito Mussolini. The Italian dictator is buried there too, in the monumental cemetery of San Cassiano in Pennino.

On these three anniversaries:
- July 29, birth of Benito Mussolini (1883)
- April 28, death of Benito Mussolini (1945)
- October 28, March on Rome (1922)

“pilgrims” from all over Italy flock there, some on their own others on bus tours, to pay homage to the Duce's grave which, counting more than 80.000 visits every year, is the second most visited grave in Italy, the first being Giovanni Paolo II's burial place.

The meeting is the Sunday morning closest to the date of the anniversary that is celebrated, in front of the Church of St. Anthony, in the homonymous square, where the march of about 1.5 km starts until the arrival at the Monumental Cemetery of San Cassiano in Pennino.

Contrary to common belief, during these anniversaries one can find young people and families too – common faces opposed to the usual portrait of the serious and strict Fascist. These groups consider the pilgrimage as a Sunday trip or a visit to a distant relation, referring to the Duce as an “Uncle” or “Grandpa Benito”, evoking his wisdom and the inflexibility he would have had in facing today's problems.

Fascist nostalgia here lacks consistency and becomes almost a fairy tale.