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English: Youth
Score of Giovinezza

Former national anthem of Italy
LyricsNino Oxilia (1909)
Marcello Manni (1919)
Salvator Gotta (1924)
MusicGiuseppe Blanc, 1909
Preceded by"Marcia Reale" (Kingdom of Italy)
Succeeded by"La Leggenda del Piave"
Audio sample
"Giovinezza" (vocal)

"Giovinezza" (pronounced [dʒoviˈnettsa]Italian for '"Youth"') is the official hymn of the Italian National Fascist Party, regime, and army, and was an unofficial national anthem of the Kingdom of Italy between 1924 and 1943.[1] Although often sung with the official national anthem Marcia Reale, some sources consider Giovinezza to have supplanted the Royal March as the de facto national anthem (Inno della Patria)[2] of Italy,[3] to the dismay of Victor Emmanuel III of Italy[4]—a powerful symbol of the diarchy between the King and Mussolini.[5] It was subsequently the official anthem of the Italian Social Republic.[6]

Ubiquitous in mid-twentieth century Italy, the hymn emphasized youth as a theme of the fascist movement and was one example of the centrality of the Arditi to the fascist narrative.[7]


"Giovinezza" was composed by lawyer and composer Giuseppe Blanc in 1909 as "Il Commiato" (Italian for "farewell"). Blanc later also wrote other fascist songs, including The Eagles of Rome, an Ode to the Italian Empire.[8] Previously a Turin university graduation song,[9] and popular among Italian soldiers during World War I, the song was called "Inno degli Arditi" (Hymn of the Arditi, a corps of the Italian Royal Army during World War I, whose members joined the fascist movement in large numbers).[10] The hymn was further popularized by the mass rallies of Gabriele d'Annunzio in Fiume.[11]

The version sung during the March on Rome was composed by G. Castaldo in 1921, using the original score by Giuseppe Blanc and words by Marcello Manni (beginning "Su compagni in forte schiere").[12] After the March on Rome, where it was sung, Mussolini commissioned Salvator Gotta to write the new lyrics, which were completed in 1924.[13]

Gotta's version plays on fascist themes like youth and nationalism. Its reference to "Alighieri's vision" is an allusion to Dante Alighieri marking Italy's borders on the Quarnaro (Kvarner) Gulf, thus including the province of Istria, a territory granted to Italy after World War I.[14]

After the capitulation of Italy in 1944, the Allies suppressed the hymn in Italy. At the time, Italy had no national anthem,[12] until Il Canto degli Italiani was provisionally chosen when Italy became a Republic on 12 October 1946, only to be officially legislated on 4 December 2017.


1922 Lyrics[edit]

Italian lyrics[15]
Su, compagni in forti schiere,
marciam verso l'avvenire.
Siam falangi audaci e fiere,
pronte a osare, pronte a ardire.
Trionfi alfine l'ideale
per cui tanto combattemmo:
fratellanza nazionale
d'italiana civiltà.
Giovinezza, giovinezza,
primavera di bellezza,
nel fascismo è la salvezza
della nostra libertà.
Non più ignava nè avvilita
resti ancor la nostra gente,
si ridesti a nuova vita
di splendore più possente.
Su, leviamo alta la face
che c'illumini il cammino,
nel lavoro e nella pace
sia la verà libertà.
Giovinezza, giovinezza,
primavera di bellezza,
nel fascismo è la salvezza
della nostra libertà.
Nelle veglie di trincea
cupo vento di mitraglia
ci ravvolse alla bandiera
che agitammo alla battaglia.
Vittoriosa al nuovo sole
stretti a lei dobbiam lottare,
è l'Italia che lo vuole,
per l'Italia vincerem.
Giovinezza, giovinezza
primavera di bellezza,
nel fascismo è la salvezza
della nostra libertà.
Sorgi alfin lavoratore.
Giunto è il dì della riscossa.
Ti frodarono il sudore
con l'appello alla sommossa.
Giù le bende ai traditori
che ti strinsero a catena;
alla gogna gl'impostori
delle asiatiche virtù.
Giovinezza, giovinezza,
primavera di bellezza,
nel fascismo è la salvezza
della nostra libertà.
English translation[15]
Come on, comrades in strong ranks,
Let's march toward the future.
We're audacious and fierce phalanxes,
Ready to dare, ready to dare.
Finally triumphs the ideal
For which we fought so much:
National brotherhood
Of Italian civilization.
Youth, youth,
Spring of beauty,
In fascism's the salvation
Of our liberty.
No more slothful nor disheartened
Remains still our people,
They reawakened to new life
Of more powerful splendor.
Come on, let's raise high the torch
Which lights the way,
In work and in peace
Is true liberty.
Youth, youth,
Spring of beauty,
In fascism's the salvation
Of our liberty.
In vigils of trenches
Dark wind of machine gun
Wrapped us in the flag
Which we stirred to the battle.
Victorious at the new sun,
Close to her we must fight,
It's Italy that wants this,
For Italy we'll win.
Youth, youth,
Spring of beauty,
In fascism's the salvation
Of our liberty.
Arise at last worker.
Arrived is the day of revenge.
They defrauded you sweat
With the call to riot.
Down with the traitors' bandages
Which reduce you to chains;
To the pillory, the imposters
Of Asian virtue.
Youth, youth,
Spring of beauty,
In fascism's the salvation
Of our liberty.

1924 Lyrics[edit]

Italian lyrics
Salve o popolo di eroi,
salve o Patria immortale,
son rinati i figli tuoi
con la fe’ nell’ideale.
Il valor dei tuoi guerrieri,
la virtù dei pionieri,
la vision dell’Alighieri,
oggi brilla in tutti i cuor.
Giovinezza, Giovinezza,
Primavera di bellezza,
della vita nell’asprezza
il tuo canto squilla e va!
E per Benito Mussolini,
Eja eja alalà!
E per la nostra Patria bella,
Eja eja alalà!
Nell’Italia nei confini,
son rifatti gli Italiani,
li ha rifatti Mussolini
per la guerra di domani.
Per la gloria del lavoro,
per la pace e per l’alloro,
per la gogna di coloro
che la Patria rinnegar.
I poeti e gli artigiani,
i signori e i contadini,
con orgoglio d’Italiani
giuran fede a Mussolini.
Non v’è povero quartiere,
che non mandi le sue schiere,
che non spieghi le bandiere
del Fascismo redentor.
English translation[16]
Hail, people of heroes,
hail, immortal Fatherland,
your sons were born again
with faith and the ideal.
Your warriors’ valour,
your pioneers’ virtue,
Alighieri’s vision,
today shines in every heart.
Youth, Youth,
Spring of beauty,
Of life in harshness
Your song rings and goes!
And for Benito Mussolini,
Hip, hip hooray.
And for our beautiful Fatherland,
Hip, hip hooray.
In the Italian borders,
Italians have been remade,
Mussolini has remade them
For tomorrow’s war.
For labour’s glory,
for peace and for the laurel,
for the shame of those
who have disowned our Fatherland.
The poets and the artisans,
the lords and the countrymen,
with an Italian’s pride
swear loyalty Mussolini.
There is no poor neighbourhood,
which does not send its ranks,
which does not unfurl the flags
of redeeming Fascism.

The lines "E per Benito Mussolini / Eja eja alalà / E per la nostra Patria bella / Eja eja alalà" do not appear in some recorded and published versions of the song.


"Giovinezza" was played "with the slightest pretext" at sporting events, films, and other public gatherings, and often carried adverse (even violent) consequences for those who did not join in.[17] Even foreigners were roughed up by blackshirts if they failed to remove their hats and show respect when "Giovinezza" was played.[18]

In the 1930s, "Giovinezza" was made the official anthem of the Italian army.[19] The school day was required to be opened either with "Giovinezza" or "Balilla", the song of the Opera Nazionale Balilla.[20] A faint, recorded version of the hymn played in the background of the Chapel of the Fascist Martyrs in the Exhibition of the Fascist Revolution.[21]

There was a German song with German lyrics, set to the same tune as Giovinezza; "Hitlerleute" (Hitler's people) replacing "Giovinezza". [2] A Japanese translation of Giovinezza, "黒シャツ党の歌" (lit. The song of blackshirts party) and "ファシストの歌" (lit. Fascist Song), was created in commemoration of the Tripartite Pact and used in Japanese overseas broadcasting.[22]

Italian tenor Beniamino Gigli recorded "Giovinezza" in 1937, although the anthem is noticeably excluded from his "Edizione Integrale", released by EMI.[23] "Giovinezza" followed the inauguration of the Fascist parliament in 1924 (following the Acerbo law)[24] and preceded the Nazi radio broadcast announcing the creation of the Italian Social Republic.[25]

"Giovinezza" was sung on 12 March 1939, the day of Pope Pius XII's coronation, by the Pope's Palatine Guard. After the last ceremony of his papal coronation was over Pius XII went to rest in the Lateran Palace. The singing occurred during a moment of public bonhomie between the Palatine Guards and the Italian Guards, "Palatine and Italian Guards exchanged courtesies, the former playing the fascist anthem, "Giovinezza" and the latter the papal hymn." This incident, which was not part of the coronation ceremony and took place without the knowledge or approval of Pope Pius XII is sometimes used to portray Pius XII as a crypto-fascist. [26]


Arturo Toscanini (who had previously run as a Fascist parliamentary candidate in 1919 and whom Mussolini had called "the greatest conductor in the world") notably refused to conduct "Giovinezza" on multiple occasions. Toscanini had refused to play "Giovinezza" in Milan in 1922 and later in Bayreuth, which earned him accolades from anti-fascists throughout Europe.[27] Mussolini did not attend the premier of Puccini's Turandot on 15 April 1926 – having been invited by the management of La Scala – because Toscanini would not play Giovinezza before the performance.[28] Finally, Toscanini refused to conduct "Giovinezza" at a May 1931 concert in Bologna, was subsequently roughed up by a group of blackshirts, and thereafter left Italy until after World War II.[1][29]

Relationship to Marcia Reale[edit]

The Royal March had often preceded "Giovinezza" on official occasions,[30] as required by official regulations following an abortive attempt to conflate the two songs.[5] Many considered the Royal March "long winded and gaudy", and these faults were thrown into sharp relief by back-to-back ceremonial presentations.[31] "Giovinezza" was used as a sign-off by Italian radio under Mussolini; after the ousting of Mussolini in 1943, the Italian radio signed off for the first time in 21 years playing only the Royal March, "Marcia Reale".[32]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Farrell, Nicholas. 2005. Mussolini: a New Life. Sterling Publishing Company, Inc. ISBN 1-84212-123-5. p. 238.
  2. ^ Bertini, Tullio Bruno. 1998. Trapped in Tuscany Liberated by the Buffalo Soldiers. Branden Books. ISBN 0-937832-35-9. p. 79.
  3. ^ Silone, Ignazio. 1977. Fontamara. Manchester University Press. ISBN 0-7190-0662-7. p. 252.
  4. ^ Smith, Denis Mack. 1959. Italy: A Modern History. University of Michigan Press. p. 391.
  5. ^ a b Mack-Smith, Denis M. 1989. Italy and Its Monarchy. Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-05132-8. p. 273.
  6. ^ Giacomo De Marzi, I canti di Salò, Fratelli Frilli, 2005.
  7. ^ Olick, Jeffrey K. 2003. States of Memory-CL: continuities, conflicts, and transformations in national retrospection. Duke University Press. ISBN 0-8223-3063-6. p. 69.
  8. ^ Arnold, Denis. 1983. The New Oxford Companion to Music. Oxford University Press. p. 763.
  9. ^ Langsam, Walter Consuelo. 1954. The World Since 1919. Macmillan. p. 154.
  10. ^ Scott, Jonathan French, and Baltzly, Alexander. 1930. Readings in European History Since 1814. F. S. Crofts & co. p. 607.
  11. ^ Payne, George Stanley. 1995. A History of Fascism, 1914-1945. Routledge. ISBN 1-85728-595-6. p. 92.
  12. ^ a b Blom, Eric ed., 1955, Grove's Dictionary of Music and Musicians, St. Martin's Press, p. 22
  13. ^ ""Giovinezza" (The Youth)."
  14. ^ Bosworth, Richard J. B. 1996. Italy and the Wider World 1860-1960. Routledge. ISBN 0-415-13477-3. p. 154.
  15. ^ a b Fasci di combattimento Version.
  16. ^ PNF Version. "[1]".
  17. ^ Gallagher, Tag. 1998. The Adventures of Roberto Rossellini. Da Capo Press. ISBN 0-306-80873-0. p. 62.
  18. ^ Mellow, MR James R. 1994. Hemingway: A Life Without Consequences. Da Capo Press. ISBN 0-201-62620-9. p. 184.
  19. ^ Germino, Dante L. 1959. The Italian Fascist Party in Power: A Study in Totalitarian Rule. University of Minnesota Press. p. 114.
  20. ^ Ebenstein, William. 1972. Fascist at Work. Ams Pr Inc. p. 134.
  21. ^ Etlin, Richard A. 1994. Symbolic Space: French Enlightenment Architecture and Its Legacy. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0-226-22084-2. p. 196.
  22. ^ 北山節郎 (KITAYAMA, Setsurou) 1987 ラジオ・トウキョウ 1 真珠湾への道 (Radio Tokyo 1: The road to the Pearl Harbor) ISBN 978-4803802078
  23. ^ High fidelity. 1957. Records in Review. Wyeth Press. p. 360.
  24. ^ The New York Times. 25 May 1924. "Italy's Parliament Opened with Pomp." p. 3.
  25. ^ New York Times. 9 September 1943. "New Fascist Regime Setup, Nazis Report." p. 1.
  26. ^ Matthews, Herbert L. 19 May 1939. "Pope Takes Over St. John Lateran In Pageant Last Held 93 Years Ago." New York Times. p. 9.
  27. ^ Ignatieff, Michael. 1999. Isaiah Berlin: A Life. Owl Books. ISBN 0-8050-6300-5. p. 54.
  28. ^ Osborne, Charles. 1993. The Complete Operas of Puccini: A Critical Guide. Da Capo Press. ISBN 0-306-80200-7. p. 250-251.
  29. ^ Taubman, Hyman Howard. 1951. The Maestro, the Life of Arturo Toscanini. Simon and Schuster. p. 157.
  30. ^ Procacci, Giuliano. 1970. History of the Italian People. Weidenfeld & Nicolson. p. 356.
  31. ^ Katz, Robert. 1971. The Fall of the House of Savoy. Macmillan. p. 259.
  32. ^ Brigham, Daniel T. 26 July 1943. "Mussolini ousted with fascist cabinet." New York Times.

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