Italy / Landmark

Piazza San Michele and the clashes in December 1920




The baptism of violence of fascist squadrism in Lucca took place on 14 December 1920 during a political rally near the Loggiato di Palazzo Pretorio in Piazza San Michele.

 In 1919, Benito Mussolini founded the "Fasci di Combattimento", a political entity that also experienced rapid growth in Tuscany in terms of membership.

The province of Lucca, which only a couple of weeks earlier had suffered the effects of the devastating earthquake that had its epicentre in the Garfagnana region, in September 1920 set about founding a local section of the Fascists.

On 14 December 1920, the 'baptism of squadrism' took place in Lucca, in the central Piazza S. Michele, where about 500 people had gathered for a socialist rally against the increase in prices. The Lucca fascists, among whom the future head of local fascism, Carlo Scorza, made an appearance, attacked the MP Lorenzo Ventavoli of Monsummano Terme and the citizens present at the protest rally. The Lucca fascist squads were joined by over 300 comrades from Pisa and Siena who had come to the city. To restore order, the Guardia Regia fired on the crowd while the black shirts returned undisturbed to their headquarters in Via S. Andrea. Nineteen wounded and two dead remained on the ground, Valente Vellutini, the owner of a spinning mill, and former Liberal town councillor Angelo Della Bidia.

The following day, cubic inscriptions appeared next to the church of San Michele with the peremptory and threatening statement: 'The fascists rule in Lucca'.

Piazza San Michele, 55100 Lucca