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Memoria e Ricerca

Sabaudia and the House of Savoy. Recalling the monarchy in the «new town» of the Pontine Marshes

di Clemente Ciammaruconi
in Memoria e Ricerca n.s. 35 (2010), p. 163

By means of a close analysis of the history of Sabaudia, the second town founded in the reclaimed Pontine Marshes and dedicated to the House of Savoy, this essay tries to investigate the role of the monarchy both in the propaganda and the political ritual of fascism in Italy. The inauguration of this town, which took place on 15 April 1934, was a significant example of «rite of the crown», and helps us understand, according to Catherine Brice, the great importance of the king and of the whole royal family in the public landscape of the fascist era. The mark left by the Savoy dynasty on the «new town» was deleted neither by the fall of the old régime, nor by the defeat of the monarchy through a referendum. The author wants to examine the way by which, in a town like Sabaudia, the aforementioned family was able to remain the pivot of the connection between memory and «public use of history», even when the setting turned into a democratic and republican one. He also aims at underlining how this process fostered an identity upheaval which has since been exploited by Christian Democrat and right-wing administrations in order to engender a nostalgic mood or else to promote tourism.