The idea of visiting monuments and cemeteries when you’re on vacation is a popular one today – from the historic graveyards of New Orleans to the grave of Victor Noir in Paris. Previous generations of travellers wanted to see how people in days gone by lived. Increasingly, today’s travellers want to see final resting places and memorials too.
Goffredo Mameli had a short life. He was an Italian poet and writer who died in 1849. You may think that you know nothing of his works but if you’re a sports fan – especially a fan of motorsport or soccer – then you have probably heard words he wrote many times.
Michele Novaro wrote the music to Il Canto degli Italiani but Goffredo Mameli wrote the rousing words. Words that you might have seen performed at sporting events for this is the Italian National Anthem. (And as I am a Ferrari fan, it makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up every time I hear it).
Mameli wasn’t just a poet and writer, he was a true Italian patriot who became interested in the politics of the country, in particular the nationalist movement.
He didn’t really make his mark in the political sphere because at the age of twenty-one, he was accidentally speared in the leg by the bayonet of one of his colleagues. An infection set in and he died shortly afterwards.
However, so many years after his death, his words ring out at sporting stadiums and racing circuits throughout the world.
HOW TO FIND THE MONUMENT
Piazzale del Verano, 1,