City and Nation in the Italian Unification: The National Festivals of Dante Alighieri (Italian and Italian American Studies)
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This study of the first national festival of modern Italy historically reconstructs the event, using a mass of un-catalogued and unpublished documents left by the organizers, which positions the Centenary as a platform upon which an alternative definition of Italian national identity emerged.
caption “here are the Piedmontese who bring civilization.”28 9780230108646_03_ch01.indd 23 3/12/2011 7:46:01 AM 24 City and Nation in the Italian Unification La Nazione, the official organ of the Florentine elite, was wary of the widespread Florentine displeasure that stemmed from the arrival of the Piedmontese. It therefore encouraged reconciliation. In an article entitled “Fiorentini, bisogna cambiare, ora che siamo la capitale,” the newspaper held that the transfer of the capital was a
The loyalties of the elite were divided 9780230108646_04_ch02.indd 52 3/12/2011 7:46:16 AM The City Organizes the Nation 53 between the “big homeland” (“grande patria”) and “little homeland” (“piccola patria”). The rhetoric and acts of the Florentine municipality reflect this conflict. The municipality and its organs (such as the Centenary Commission) appealed to unitary terms such as patria, nazione, Italia. Yet the actual exchanges, whether between Florence and 310 other Italian
architect, Stefano Fioretti, had indeed admitted as much in his preliminary summary of the agenda, which was published as early as July 29, 1864.14 One example of this intricacy is that each day of the festa was to be devoted to a specific sector of society, with a corresponding historical float: one to honor Giano Della Bella for the day of artisans, another for Guido Cavalcanti on the day of scientist, and still another dedicated to Giotto for the festa of professors of fine arts, and so on.
lengthy process of negotiation within the Centenary Commission, as well as between the organizers of the festa and the leaders of the Società Operaie. The original eight-day program had conceived of a public ceremony during the opening portions of the festa, during which the Italian Worker Societies would receive financial donations from the Gonfaloniere of Florence. During the discussions over a revised program, Servadio, in line with his general defense of the earlier version, argued for “the
reducible to these signs: Although customs and the use of symbols are always polysemic, nevertheless they assume more precise connotations from the mobile and dynamic social differentiation. Individuals constantly create their own identities, and groups define themselves according to conflicts and solidarities, which however cannot be assumed a priori but result from dynamics which are the object of analysis.35 Guided by Levi’s articulation, I have written a narrative of the Dante festa that not