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The March on Rome by Giorgio Dell’Arti

Columnist for La Stampa and Gazzetta dello Sport, Dell’Arti was a finalist for the Viareggio Prize with Il giorno prima del 68. From 1996 to 2018, he edited and directed the Monday edition of Foglio (also known as the Foglio Rosa). In 2009 he hosted the in-depth program Ultime da Babele on Radio1. He currently also writes for the supplement Robinson de la Repubblica (he governs the literary tournament of the supplement, according to an old idea of his already tested on Friday), he holds a political information column on the weekly magazine Oggi and a literary column on Il Fatto. It is his site Cinquantamila founded in 2011 in partnership with Corriere della sera, and created on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the unit: “cinquantamila” is, approximately, the number of days of which Italian history is composed since 1861. In 2014 he conducted the morning broadcast “Radio1 in Corpo 9” on the first radio channel of Rai.

He is the author of the Catalogue of the Living published by Marsilio Editori.
Separated, he has two daughters, Lucrezia and Arianna. His current partner is the journalist of the Corriere della Sera Lauretta Colonnelli.

Since 2017 he has been director of the newsletter Anteprima, a real newspaper also created with the night reading of newspapers arriving at newsstands. To those who send him his email (by writing to, the newspaper is sent free of charge for one month.

The short, agile book by Giorgio Dell’Arti, La marcia su Roma (La Nave di Teseo 2022), even in its almost pocket format, has a different objective: to tell non-specialist readers.
Dell’Arti is a journalist, not a historian; The difference is that while the scholar makes the sources speak, and on those sides for his wide-ranging research, the journalist instead makes the sources talk a lot the newspapers of the time, to reconstruct an atmosphere, a cultural climate that returns the moods of the people and the protagonists of that distant history only in appearance. In the pages of the book there are often not too veiled references to the present, which make reading interesting and engaging. The March on Rome concludes a story that, in the story of Giorgio Dell’Arti, starts from 1861, that is, from the proclamation of the Unification of Italy.

The liberals, right and left, who ruled the newly become a nation, were essentially an elite of bourgeois and aristocrats from whom the masses were excluded.
The March on Rome, whose conventional date is that of October 28, 1922, in Dell’Arti’s book is marked as if to describe the uncertainty, the contradiction, the changes of opinion and orders, the different personalities who were protagonists or antagonists, which characterized those convulsive days.

“The fascists have begun the march on Rome.” A rainy Saturday 96 years ago ushered in the fascist era. Benito Mussolini, at the head of the PNF (National Fascist Party), decides that the time has come to force the situation to allow his party to come to power. On October 28, 1922, about 25,000 Blackshirts headed for Rome, claiming the political leadership of the Kingdom from the sovereign of Italy, Vittorio Emanuele III, threatening the seizure of power with violence.

Two days later, Victor Emmanuel III yielded to pressure from the fascists and instructed Mussolini to form a new government.
It was then that Italy lost democracy inaugurating the twenty years of fascism.
Then the march on Rome had ended in a burning defeat, the government had met in the middle of the night approving the state of siege, the army had assumed full powers, the order had started to arrest the promoters of the coup d’├ętat, first of all Benito Mussolini. “So how was it possible that the leader of the insurgents became the new head of government?” The answer lies in the series of pressing events that take place over the twenty-four hours of October 28, 1922, “day zero” in the calendar of the fascist era. Fundamental will be the decision of Vittorio Emanuele III not to sign the decree of state of siege giving enormous help to Mussolini’s dangerous challenge for the conquest of power.

The historical events are expressed and outlined in a very clear and precise way, and we recognize the great ability of Giorgio dell’Arti in weaving a perfect embroidery in bringing together, intertwining them perfectly, facts that really happened.

A fascinating historical novel, which fascinates: The March on Rome is a journey where history is present and well described by Dell ‘Arti has a wonderful pen, delicate and flowing where needed, strong, immersive when necessary, always clear and clear, allows you to enter the narrative with mind and heart.

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