Giorgio Morra Photography
Predappio is the place where the fascist dictator Benito Mussolini was born on July 29, 1883. After twenty-five years as Duce del Fascismo he was shot by partisans in 1945 and his body was publicly exhibited in the town square Piazzale Loreto of Milan. Twelve years later his remains found the way back to his birth place. Since then, Predappio became a place of pilgrimage for right-wing extremists and nostalgic people. Every year thousands of people travel to the small village to commemorate Mussolini’s birth and death. Also, the Italian far-right party Froza Nova organizes a yearly demonstration at the dictator’s grave - on the same day when Il Duce came to power in Rome. The center-left oriented inhabitants and the mayor try master this kind of nostalgic tourism, however the bad connections made to Predappios place of birth is a burden for the village. Though the population have a clear opinion about this situation they are facing a dilemma: Should they set against the or should they approve this kind of tourism in order to neutralize the village Predappio as a place of commemoration – or even something in between those two options? It is therefore almost ironic to see when the mayor of Predappio thinks about how to handle the increasing inflow of the Blackshirts and sympathisers in the present city hall at the former desk of Mussolini – while those sympathisers perpetuate themselves in a condolence book after taking snapshots in front of the grave and subsequently purchase sculptures of Mussolini and T-shirts with extreme right-wing inscriptions in souvenir shops. After this invasion they just disappear and distribute in Italy and Europe again.