I had been living in Italy for around 8 months. I had seen everything from the colosseum of Rome to Mount Vesuvius to Lake Como. I'd seen Florence, Assisi, you know.. all those touristy places. But I was living in a smaller town, called Forli' about halfway between Bologna and Rimini. I, and my boyfriend, was thinking that it was about time to see some of the local things. Sure I had seen the center of Forli' millions of times, and the road that leads from Forli' straight to Florence (about a 2 hour trip straight through the mountains). Me and my boyfriend went to a little bookstand one day thinking about buying some books about Romagna (the region where Forli' is located). Luca (my boyfriend) would be coming to America soon, and wanted something to remember is home region by.
So, we went to the appropriate section, looked through some poetry books written in dialect, history, pictures, etc., and finally we found just the type of think that I was looking for: the Atlante Romagnolo (basically an atlas of the region). We looked through it and found that it listed every single community in the region, and its main attractions. I thought that was a really great idea, and we bought it for a mere $6 (USD). We looked through the book that night, writing down all the interesting places we could go... we went to see castles, museums, all your run of the mill Italian things... we even drove an hour and trekked 2 hours through the mountains just to see the Acquacheta waterfall (to those of you who have seen the Niagara Falls, this would be nothing: but to me, it was awesome, I'd never seen a waterfall before afterall).
Anyways, back to my point... after visiting just about all the places in the books I finally just came out and said "Come on! We have to go to Predappio!!" (Predappio just so happens to be the hometown of the famous Benito Mussolini). I just couldn't help it.. I can't understand how one can knowingly be less than 10 miles away from the grave of Mussolini and not go to see it! Luca didn't want to go though.. "I'm not a Fascist!" he said tons of times, before I finally convinced him (although I don't think I could express with words how ashamed he was to actually go). So one day we drove out there, and of course I brought my camera. I have to admit I was a little nervous walking through such a sacred place as a cemetery (an Italian one at that) just to take pictures of a dead dictator's tomb.. but I did.
We were looking around, wondering where the heck the thing was, when all of a sudden this huge church-like building just sprung up in front of me. It was huge! I tried to take a couple of pictures without anyone noticing, and then Luca says to me, "Okay, let's go now." No way!! Do you really think I would go all the way to Italy, find out how close I am to this tomb, and not go inside?!
So, after a little twisting of the arm, we go towards the crypt, and start to hear voices coming from inside the building (no, it's not Mussolini's ghost or anything). Then I started to feel like maybe we should leave.. who was that in there anyways? What if it was family? What if it was some hard-core fascists? I don't really know what I thought in that moment, but after listening for a few minutes, we went through the entrance, and read all the plaques and things that were hanging on the wall. After we decided that the ppl downstairs must have been cleaning people or something of the sort, we thought it would be best to wait a few minutes. Finally... finally the voices went away, and apparently the people had left. We went down the stairs into a little room. Inside, there were (don't quote me on this, because I don't remember the exact number) three sarcophaguses, pictures of Mussolini's family, candles, flowers, all your normal cemetery things. Then, I turned around, and just burst out laughing. At the head of the room, in a tiny chamber, not only were there flowers and wall hangings, but another sarcophagus with above a huge shiny bust of Mussolini. I think that had to be the most ridiculous thing I saw in all of Italy. To think how much so many people hated him, but that he actually had a huge crypt that people could visit, and of all things this obnoxious statue! (The man is still arrogant even after death ;) )
Then after my little outburst, I noticed that there were a couple of old men there.. speaking in dialect of course, paying their respects to Mussolini. I felt a little bad about laughing, but what could I say... it was Mussolini's head on a shelf.
So, I waited for the men to leave, and then finally got up the nerve to take a picture of it. I didn't know if it would turn out, but it did. Of course the picture doesn't do it justice, you just have to see it. It was really weird being there, knowing that the majority of people never go and see something like his tomb. Most Italians, I think, don't even know that that's where he is "buried." But I had a pretty unique experience, and even signed the guestbook down in the basement.
I would recommend to anyone: Fascist, Communist, Republican (yes, even Democrats ;) ) that if there were ever in that area (Bologna, Forli', Rimini, Ravenna, etc.) to go and see the crypt. While it may not be as impressive as the Colosseum, or as beautiful of the Duomo of Milan or Florence, it is pretty neat in its own way. After all how many people can say that they went to see the tomb of one of the powers of Europe of WWII (after all Hitler doesn't have one now does he?).
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Regardless of what the man did, he's dead and it was in very poor taste for you to laugh at his grave. You'd be surprised how many people in Italy still think respectfully of him. Consider yourself fortunate you did not laugh when the wrong people were there. You might have been unhappily surprised and the response you got. I for one, would've booted you in your ignorant little a$$!
I just happened upon this website and read the story provided. Too bad there were negative comments. Hell, if you don't like what you're reading, then jump to another website. Didn't like her laughing at the grave? It's no wonder that she didn't spit on it. His life made others horrible. Sanctifying his crypt with such niceties only mocks the lives lost during WWII when this cruel leader ruled.
Hell, if I were you, I'd spit on the fascist bastard. To hell with him. (he must be there anyways :) ) anyways...
nice entry. keep writing.
I don't think Mussolini minds if we laugh at thim, or even dance on his grave. He seems pretty dead.
Although you may think that laughing at the grave was bad, you obviously did hear about what the Italians actually did to Mussolini: firstly they murdered him and his girlfriend, then they hung them upside down, dead in the middle of Milan for the Italians to spit on. Now, is laughing at the statue really that bad?
heh! wish i could have seen him at Piazzale Loreto in Milan on april the 29th 1945, now thats what i call respect.
long life to mussolini. we will win.
Mussolini was the first cousin of my grandfather, my grandfather was a black shirt who went over to Germany and became part of the SS. My SS grandfather married a 'Aryan' German girl, that was 'recommended'to him by SS hierachy to aid in the Lebensborn program--the breeding of Aryan children for the third reich.
As consequence my father suffered after the war due to the criminal acts performed by his family members. He immigrated to the other side of the globe, but his fascist beginnings still torment him with disgust and self loathing.
Dance on Mussolini's grave, laugh and laugh loud, and then please blow the bloody thing up. We don't need a memorial to a brutal fascist dictator.
He was a very evil person, but his family doesn't need to be ashamed; you don't choose your parents. I can't believe people would traumatise others just because of a relation of theirs. But then again, there are always ruthless and biased people out there who will get you down.
There MUST be a tomb for him. He is the part of our history. No matter what that history is like. I would likely go to the tomb of Hitler as well, just as to the tomb of Stalin, or Napoleon. The existence of a tomb must not be the fundament for a political argue. Argues must be over what the men did. The tomb is a different thing.
As soon as I have money and time, I urgently go and see this Mussolini tomb.
Greetings from Hungary.
Mussolini was allied with Hitler.......
Roosvelt and Churchill were allied with Stalin....... Was Stalin an hero of pluralism, democracy and liberty? Mussolini made a lot of mistakes but wasn't an evil.
Laughing in a tomb is so typical of late 20th, early 21st century people; no class, no upbringing... oh well.
As for Mussolini; well, the history books tell us he was on nasty SOB, but then up until recently the same books were telling us the John Kennedy was a saint. Go figure.
He is now seen as being well good , he brought unemployment under control, did a good job with railways, but went wrong with Hitler.
He is now seen in Italy as being not as bad as the people they have now. as for laughing well I doubt he cares much either way
They are now in massive talks whether to move his grave to Rome to make it a much larger tomb to give him higher rank.
So the silly remarks about him are a bit silly he is now see as a much larger higher profile figure.
mussolini was a prick ... cretin should have been decapitated at birth ...cant think of anything else to say about him... except bonjour
Benito Mussolini - Murdered by Democrats 28/4/1945
...murdered by COMMUNISTS...those were the people in the square spitting on his hanging body...by the way, he hated NAZI's (and their philosophy)...too bad however, that he didn't have the courage to stand up to them...
History is history. Man is both good and bad. Definitions of evil have many sides and all leaders have good and bad traits. All countries have good and evil sides to them including the United States.
Must say I would have pissed on it
You ignorant Communist Bas&ard. I would have smashed your face against the wall and watched you bleed. ^%$& yourself. VIVA MUSSOLINI!
How dare your laugh at the grave of El Duce, Mussolini gave life and hope to all Italians, he made the country great and strong. His mistake was to ally himself to Hitler, Fascism is not the same in every country and it beats democracy and communism as its a mix of both. You shame yoru self with laughing at El Duce grave and in top of that u comment on it, Benito did't kill Jews like Hitler did untill he was forced by the Nazis. Italians love him and if u went to shop for souvenirs you will see as people sell his image, he might had been a proud man, but does it matter when he gave all to Italy, food, work, safety, freedom, and power. You know nothing and u will burn in the afterlife for such barbaric act.