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Mussolini’s Cities: Internal Colonialism in Italy, 1930-1939 By Federico Caprotti ...

Chapter 1:  Fascism and the Pontine Marshes
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Mussolini’s Cities:

Chapter One

Fascism and
the Pontine Marshes


The crowd you're standing in surges forward as blood drips slowly from the bodies hung from the petrol station. It mixes with the rainbow-coloured, greasy gasoline pooling at the foot of a pump. Following the drops of blood to their source, conscious of the cavernous open space of the petrol station in front of you, you feel the crowd around you. The station takes on an almost religious significance, a petrol-stained Stonehenge for the modern era. Those sacrificed form the centrepiece. (Author's interpretation of interview)

In April 1945, a disturbing scene was played out at a petrol station in Piazzale Loreto, in central Milan. Mussolini's body was displayed for all to see, hanging upside down, together with those of other fascists and of Claretta Petacci, his mistress. Directly, the scene showed the triumph of the partisans, whose efforts against the