Mussolini’s Birthplace in Predappio
By Contested Histories Initiative •
The small Italian town of Predappio has developed a controversial reputation as a site of neo-fascist ‘pilgrimage’ by virtue of its historical affiliation with the fascist dictator, Benito Mussolini. The town retains the peculiar distinction as both the birthplace of Mussolini and the location where he was eventually interred in 1957. His crypt and other buildings and artefacts have attracted far-right tourism, provoking debate and discussion over the crypt’s opening and the public image of Predappio as a haven for the extreme right. To counter this reputation, the town developed a controversial plan to build a museum that provides context to the town’s fascist history. This case study outlines the origins, evolution, and contestation surrounding Mussolini’s birthplace, the town’s challenges in coming to terms with the physical symbols and countermeasures related to Italian fascist history.