Giuseppe Mazzini (Genoa, 22nd June 1805 – Pisa 10th March 1872) was an Italian patriot, politician and philosopher whose fundamental lessons led to the birth of a united Italian Nation.
After graduating in law at university, in 1827 he became a member of the revolutionary secret society called Carboneria, which in those years was spreading its action in Northern Italy with its patriotic ideas against Austrian domination.
In 1831 he founded the political organisation Giovine Italia (Young Italy) aimed at achieving the independence and unity of the country with a popular insurrection. His ideas and political action, inspired by the republican anti-royalist ideology, were considered subversive: Mazzini’s men were always considered and condemned as terrorists by the establishment.
Mazzini lived all his life as a fugitive, but was able to carry out his objectives from the exile, strongly believing in what the destiny of Italy should be. About him was written: “He continuously created new energy, fascinating generations of young people for 40 years...while the elderly resisted him...”.
The importance of his actions was more ideological than practical: when the revolutionary acts of 1848 failed, also his ideals of social change faded. Mazzini himself suggested to Garibaldi’s movement to start a struggle in arms on Southern Italy, inciting to a popular revolution.
Eventually, Italian nationalists found their political leader in Camillo Benso Count of Cavour, Prime Minister of the Reign of Sardinia, who brought the birth of the Italian State to its end (between 1859 and 1861) under the reign of Savoia Royal Family.
In 1872 Mazzini died in Pisa after a long illness. His body was embalmed, mummified and then transposed to the cemetery of Staglieno in Genoa, his birthplace.
The marble memorial stone with the bronze bust of the patriot, was inaugurated the 25th of November 1972, thanks to the local Mazzinian Association, 100 years after his death. The gaze of the Giovine Italia (Young Italy) founder is directed to the Broletto, a building which for years had been representing the core of the town political life.
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Piazza Martiri di Belfiore
Copia da un gesso della scuola di Vincenzo Vela