Garibaldi: Remembering the Risorgimento - The Janiculum as a Place of Remembrance

The Janiculum (Gianicolo in Italian) is a hill in Rome, famous for its historical relevance and breathtaking view over the city. Loved by many Romans during the boiling summer temperatures and by tourists thanks to its historical significance during the Italian unification (Risorgimento in Italian) movement it leaves all its visitors overwhelmed. This experience surmounts all the aforementioned impressions of the eternal city. Important historical figures during the period of the Risorgimento are honoured with busts or statues in which the statues of Guiseppe Garibaldi and his wife Anitasignify the cornerstone of this memorial place. With these monuments and the glorious feeling that results from the impressive view, the hill has become the solution to the question of how to memorialize a place as well as events which are so controversial in Italian history. Every drop of sweat the visitor loosens on its ascend will be compensated as soon as you enter the San Pancrazio Gate, the entrance to this memorial place.

1. Historical Background of the Risorgimento
1.1 Chronological order of events
2. Garibaldi
2.1 The story of Giuseppe Garibaldi
2.2 The story of Ana Maria de Jesus Ribeiro da Silva
3. Monument
3.1 Statue of Garibaldi
3.1.1 West Side
3.1.2 East Side
3.1.3 North Side
3.1.4 South Side
3.2 Statue of Anita Garibaldi
3.2.1 South and East side of the statue
3.2.2 West side of the statue
3.2.3 North side of the statue
3.2.4 Analysis of the statue
4. Understanding the Risorgimento
4.1 Italy and the power of the church
4.1.1 Crispi and Italy
4.1.2 Italy in need for a monarchy?- An inner twist
4.1.3 The Garibaldian idea - Condemned to Failure?
4.2 The Janiculum - A unification symbol
4.2.1 The importance of the Risorgimento for the Italian people
4.2.2 Garibaldi as an identification figure for all Italians
4.2.3 Italy - Bound for glory?
5. Summary

Historical Background of the Risorgimento

In order to understand the message that the Janiculum is supposed to bring across, it has to be framed within the political and historical context of tthe Risorgimento. Statues placed on a hill, like the statue of Garibaldi and his wife Anita, are standing there to address the mass. To understand the role of the statues, it is essential to understand what is going on in the society to which that mass belongs. Therefore, an overview of the dates and events that played a significant role during Italian unification will be summarized, in order to provide a political and historical context.

Chronological order of events

1796 - 1799 Italy's loss of imperial grandeur: Italy gets invaded and occupied by French troops

1814 - 1815 After the defeat of Napoleon, former rulers and boundaries are restored by the Congress of Vienna. Austria becomes the dominant power in this restored Italy. Alliances with the Papal States and the Two Sicilies are formed to protect Restoration Italy.

1820 - 1821 For a short period of time, revolutions in the Two Sicilies and in Piedmont cause difficulties for the Restoration government. But these revolutions are successfully suppressed mainly by Austria.

1830 - 1831 Turmoil in Central Italy, revolutionists undertake action. Once again, Austrian troops -as well as French troops- suppress these revolutionary actions.

1831 The revolutionary politician Giuseppe Mazzini (nicknamed the Beating Heart of Italy), constructs a movement called 'Young Italy' with the aim to acquire liberty, independence and unity for Italy.

1834 - 1837 Mazzini with his Young Italy organizes several expeditions and actions across Italy. This movement gets to an end as it gets infiltrated by the police.

1847 Publications for Il Risorgimento (unification) begin to emerge.

1848 The monarchy loses power as turmoil arises and several revolutions spread through Italy.

The geographical location of the

1849 In January of this year, the Pope flees from Rome. Rome declares itself as a Republic. Mazzinigathers delegates and rulers from all over Italy to discuss the formation of a united Italy. In line with Rome, a Republican government is formed in Florence. In April, the Roman Republic is attacked by French troops that try to give the Papal state its power back. The revolutionists, led by Giuseppe Garibaldi, defend themselves and manage to keep Rome as a Republic until July, when they lost the battle. In August, the revolutionists get defeated by the Austrian army which implies the fall of the Republic of Venice.

1853 A Mazzinian revolt against Austria arises but soon gets suppressed.

1860 During April, Garibaldi goes with his expedition of the Thousand to Sicily. In the next two months, he manages to conquer the Two Sicily's. Garibaldi prepares his followers to march to Rome, but an army coming from Piedmont precedes him in this action by invading the Papal States before he does. Garibaldi is forced to give away Southern Italy to the region of Piedmont. This is a big defeat for the revolutionists since Vittorio Emanuele II is also called the King of the Two Sicily's while still being the king of Piedmont.

1861 Italy becomes a kingdom, its first king is Vittorio Emanuele II of Italy (before becoming king, his title was Vittorio Emanuele II of Piedmont).

1862 Garibaldi and his fighters march to Rome but are stopped by Italian troops.

1867 Garibaldi tries again to march to Rome, but this time he is stopped by Papal troops.

1870 French troops get out of Rome, because they have to fight in another war. During the capture of Rome, the Italian army takes over the city and Rome becomes the capital of Italy. The Pope does not agree with the new formations and protests by claiming that he is a prisoner of the Vatican.

In sum, there was a lot of turmoil in the Italian society. And in times of political instability, radicals play upon this insecurity in an attempt to change society. This is also what was supposed to happen with the Risorgimento. It was meant to be a crucial moment in history, the time in which Italy becomes a unified nation and enters the 'modern' world. Risorgimento was supposed to bring about several transformations: to begin with, the collapse of the ancient régime and the existence of a parliament. Secondly, the replacement of the traditional rural society with a modernized one. The politicians that strived for unity attempted to open federal boarders which consequently would lead to an easier trade between the different Italian regions. According to the representatives of the Risorgimento, Italian's unity should be deeply rooted in nationalism to secure Italy's identity. It was a period of time, riddled with political insecurities, making it a controversial period. Democrats were particularly successful in creating a different view of the Risorgimento, offering it to the common folk and politicians alike. They depicted Italians to be the victims of oppression from both the inside and the outside of Italy. The democrats called it a 'national resurgence'. Later on, this vision brought bitter memories to the people of Italy, as the ideal for the Risorgimento seemed to have failed. Nationalistic intentions and ideas, and the fight between Italian liberals to promote them influenced the process of political and societal change in Italy during the end of the 19th century. Politicians used the struggles between class and ideology on the one hand and social structure and leadership on the other hand, thereby making national unification look like a massive struggle for power.

After failing to include Venice and Rome in unified Italy, the Risorgimento faced many challenges. The absence of Rome in Liberal Italy felt as a national weakness, the heart of Italy was occupied by the French. A sudden need for reinforcements in the Franco- Prussian war in 1870 created an opportunity for troops of the newly founded Kingdom of Italy to conquer the city. But this created more trouble for the regime because the church and the state were in a struggle. Pope Pius IX withdrew as he himself claimed to be a prisoner and the Vatican threatened Catholics with ex-communication if they dabbled or engaged in Italian politics. Italy regained control over Venice from the Austrians in 1866, but with a great cost: a horrifying defeat by the Austrian navy, which served to show the lack of power in the new Kingdom.

Liberal Italy was the subject of man other difficulties, which made it almost impossible for the regime to last as long as it actually did. There was an outburst of banditry all around the country, anarchist movement - using the newly started war with Austria in 1866 - which occupied Palermo and gained control over it, holding it for a week despite the efforts of the government to take it back. This coupled with a devastating financial crisis and a stagnating economy led to the addition of the macinato - a hated tax reminding of the ancient régime. There were also a lot of political decisions in the disadvantage of the people, making the tension between rulers and the mass population even stronger. The new regime also failed to unify the urbanized North with the poorer South, which shows that the Risorgimento failed to meet its initial goal. The Risorgimento was an attempt to unify all regions of Italy, which later made it much easier for the fascist movement to spread their ideology|1| .

Garibaldi can be seen as the fore-runner of this movement. His personal history as well as the one of his Brazilian wife are important to understand their actions during the unification. Furthermore, their influence during this period will be presented below which serves to understand the deliberate act to depict these two important figures of the Italian unification and not the count of Cavour, Mazzini, or Vittorio Emmanule II.


Main Article: Giuseppe Garibaldi

The story of Giuseppe Garibaldi

Garibaldi is known for his effort during the unification of Italy, the so-called Risorgimento. He is the mythical fighter for the freedom of the people. He commanded and personally fought in many military campaigns that eventually led to the unification of Italy. One of the names often given to Garibaldi is 'Eroe dei due mondi' ('Hero of the two worlds'). This is because of his military fights and successes in both South-America and Europa.

Giuseppe Garibaldi was born on July 4, 1807 in Nice. At that time, Nice was part of Italy, with a lot of French influences|2|. Giuseppe was registered as a French citizen under the name of Joseph Garibaldi. Garibaldi's family participated in trading on coast and on the sea. This drew Garibaldi to a life at sea as well. During one of his travels, he met Giovanni Battista Cuneo, a politically active immigrant and member of 'La Giovine Italia' ('Young Italy')|3|. Garibaldi got inspired by this movement, and he decided to join this society. He took an oath, dedicating himself to unify and liberate his homeland from the Austrian dominance. After joining the Carbonari revolutionary association,a Genoese court sentenced him to death in absentia. This forced Garibaldi to flee across the border, to Marseille|4|. Not long after that, Garibaldi decided to travel to South-America. He took up the Republic of Rio Grande do Sul in its attempt to separate from Brazil. Garibaldi joined the gaucho rebels, better known as the 'farrapos' against the newly independent Brazilian Nation. During his battles in Brazil, he met Ana Ribeiro da Silva who later became Garibaldi's wife, better known under the name of Anita Garibaldi|5|.

In 1842 Garibaldi took command of the Uruguayan fleet, and he raised an 'Italian Legion'. With this Italian Legion, he fought a few battles in Uruguay. Adopting guerilla tactics, Garibaldi achieved two great successes in the battles of Cerro Gordo and San Antonio del Santo in 1846. However, those victories did not satisfy Garibaldi; the fate of his homeland continued to concern him. The election of pope Pius IX lead to a great sensation among Italian patriots. Pope Pius IX was initially identified as a liberal pope which would cause greater successes towards the unification of Italy|6| .

In 1848, Garibaldi returned to Italy for the revolutions. He offered his services to Charles Albert of Sardinia. He fought against Austrian occupation, and had two minor successes at Luino and Morazzone. In Luino, Garibaldi managed to dissipate the Austrian occupation and in Morazzone, Garibaldi interfered with the Austrian troops to make sure that the Austrians stayed in the north of Italy. Garibaldi gave resistance to the Austrian attempt to move closer to Rome|7|.

Garibaldi joined the move to Rome, to support the Republic, to fight against French troops. He had some victories over the French army but when French reinforcements arrived they forced Garibaldi and his troops to retreat from Rome|8|.

Garibaldi arrived in the United States on July 30, 1850. Garibaldi stayed there for a little while, but returned to Italy in 1854|9|. In 1859, the Second Italian War of Independence started. Garibaldi was appointed major general and formed a volunteer unit 'the Hunters of the Alps'. However, Garibaldi became very displeased when he learned that his home city of Nice was surrendered to the French. In April 1860, he attacked the troops of Cavour for ceding Nice to Louis Napoleon.

1860 signalises the year of the renowned Expedition of the Thousand|10|. Uprisings in Palermo and Messina provided Garibaldi about a thousand volunteers, which he used for his unification of Italy. These thousand men were better known as the 'Redshirts'. After a victory in Sicily, Garibaldi declared himself as dictator of Sicily in the name of Vittorio Emanuele II. On September 7, Garibaldi entered the city of Naples. Despite taking the city, Garibaldi was not able to defeat the Neapolitan army. He practically lost the 'Battle of Volturno', however there exists a debate whether this battle was really lost. Some publicists consider this battle as a victory for Garibaldi|11|. Garibaldi chose to hand over all his gained territory in the south to the Piedmontese and he withdrew for temporary retirement.

Without a doubt, Garibaldi's expedition against Rome is most famous. Known as the Battle of Aspromonte|12|, Garibaldi challenged the Pope's temporal domain. Catholics all over the world saw this with great distrust, the French emperor Napoleon III guaranteed the independence of Rome from a unified Italy by stationing a French garrison of troops in Rome. In June 1862, Garibaldi started in Palermo gathering volunteers for his campaign under the slogan 'Roma o Morte' (Rome or Death). However, the Italian government did not agree with the idea of attacking Rome, so they intervened. A short fight started between Garibald's forces and the Italian forces, but Garibaldi forbade his men to return fire on fellow subjects of the Kingdom of Italy. Garibaldi was taken prisoner.

After this expedition, there was a Third Italian War of Independence. Garibaldi booked one victory over the Papal forces, and after that he retired. In 1867 Garibaldi tried once again to liberate Rome, but again without success. Pope Pius IX was feeling more and more secure with the French garrison securing the city. However, in 1870 the French garrison had to be withdrawn, due to the war between France and Prussia. Garibaldi joined the French forces and the Italians rushed into Rome to achieve the fall of the Papacy. Garibaldi could be seen as an excellent strategic person during battle|13|.

The story of Ana Maria de Jesus Ribeiro da Silva

Ana Maria de Jesus Ribeiro da Silva was the wife of Giuseppe Garibaldi. She was a Brazilian gaucho rebel and also has minor experience in the unification of Italy.

Ana Maria was born in Brazil on August 30, 1821 in a poor family of Portuguese descent. When Ana Maria was fourteen years of age, she was forced to marry a man who later joined the Imperial Army. Ana Maria was not too happy with her husband joining the Imperial Army, and she was not willing to support him in this decision. Thus, Manuel Duarte Aguiar, Ana Maria's husband, decided to leave her in 1835.

Not long after, Ana Maria decided to join the rebellion in Brazil. In 1839, Ana Maria met a charismatic freedom fighter by the name of Giuseppe Garibaldi. At that time, Garibaldi was fighting the 'War of the Farrapos|14|. In October 1839 Ana Maria decided to join Garibaldi on his ship (Rio Pardo). Giuseppe and Ana Maria became lovers and started to fight on each other's side. She received her baptism for the battles of Imbituba and Laguna|15|.

Ana Maria started to call herself Anita, also using Garibaldi as her surname. She was a great influence to Giuseppe, learning him everything about guerilla warfare. She was an accomplished horsewoman and teached Giuseppe about the gaucho culture of the plains of southern Brazil. One of the companions, fighting alongside Anita and Giuseppe, had great admiration for Anita as a person and as a fighter:

'Anita is an amalgam of two elemental forces (...) the strength and courage of a man and the charm and tenderness of a woman, manifested by the daring and vigor with which she had brandished her sword and the beautiful oval of her face that trimmed the softness of her extraordinary eyes.'|16| Also Giuseppe himself was known to have great admiration for Anita as a person. Not only does Giuseppe describe her beauty, but also her courage and determination as a revolutionary. He declared his love to her, right after 'The Estancia della Bana', one of the battles in Brazil.

'It was at this fête that I learnt that a beautiful young girl, on hearing of my danger had turned pale and anxiously inquired after my life and health; a victory more sweet to my heart than the sanguinary triumph we had obtained. Oh! beautiful daughter of the American continent! I was proud and happy to belong to thee, in whatever manner it might be, even in thought. Thou was destined and thou was forced to belong to another; and fate reserved for me that other Brazilian flower which I still weep for, and for which I shall weep while I live. Sweet mother of my sons! I knew her not in the midst of victory, but in adversity and shipwreck, and - much more than my youth, my face, or my merit - my misfortunes bound me to her for life. Anita! Beloved Anita!'

So, it was well known that Anita made a great militant. In general, militants were males. There are certain pictures of Anita Garibaldi, depicting her as a male. Whether these pictures are authentic, is not known.

Anita and Giuseppe were married on March 26, 1842. A few years later, after the rebellions in South America, Anita joined Giuseppe and his red-shirted soldiers back to Italy, in order to assist him in fighting in the Revolutions of 1848. Together with Giuseppe, she booked two minor successes at Luino and Morazzone.

In the year 1849, Anita and Giuseppe helped defending the newly proclaimed Roman Republic against Neapolitan and French forces. Soon after, French reinforcements made it impossible to stay in Rome, forcing Anita to flee. However, Anita was pregnant and sick from malaria. This would eventually lead to her death on August 4, 1849. She never lived to see the unification of Italy; something Giuseppe regrets|17|.


Statue of Garibaldi

West Side

The picture on the right shows us the west side of the statue of Garibaldi. This side shows the battle of Calatafimi in 1860. This was part of the Expedition of the Thousand. Garibaldi led his troops in Sicily in order to conquer the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. By this, Garibaldi permitted the union of Southern Italy and Sicily with the North. The expedition was one of the most dramatic events of the Risorgimentoand was one of the greater victories of Garibaldi. During this battle, Garibaldi was faced with the problem of defeating more than 20,000 Neapolitan troops of the Bourbon king Francis II with an untrained army with nothing more than rusty rifles. After proclaiming himself as the dictator of Sicily in the name of Vittorio Emanuele II, he led his men toward Palermo. But before the Thousand reached Palermo, there was the battle of Calatafimi. During the battle of Calatafimi Garibaldi led 800 volunteers to victory over an enemy force of 1500 on the hill of Calatafimi. While fighting for Italy Garibaldi used the counter-intuitive tactic of an uphill bayonet charge. He saw that the hill was terraced and this would shelter his advancing men. Thanks to his great tactics Garibaldi booked another great victory for the unification of Italy. He used a combination of his excellent skills of physical strength and intellect.

The question that we need to ask ourselves is: 'Why is this victory so important, that it is to be remembered on the statue of Garibaldi?' It is quite hard to answer this question, because compared to the other victories of Garibaldi, this was just a minor one. It is said that the officers of the Neapolitan army, the army that was defeated during this battle, often led their armies poorly and they were often considered as corrupted. This battle was inconclusive, however, it served to boost the morale of the Thousand and also to depress the Neapolitan army. During this battle, Garibaldi said: 'Qui si fa l'Italia o si muore!' (Here we make Italy, or we die!). But is this the reason why this battle is so important? Because it boosted the morale of the Thousand? That seems incorrect and there is always more than one truth. Greater victories should highly increase the morale of the volunteers. The reason why this battle is depicted on the statue of Garibaldi has something to do with the message that the statue wants to give the audience. It wants to show permanent determination and the achievement of united forces. Garibaldi stands firm, with a fixed gaze towards the Vatican.This posture shows the audience that it is not the battle itself that is important because it was just a minor and questionable one, however, the final result should be taken into account. This battle resulted in one of the first steps towards the unification of Italy. That is what makes this battle very important in retrospect.

Right below the picture of the victory of Calatafimi is a lion depicted. The artist Emilio Gallori did not ultimately convey an explanation of the lion nor did anyone else who lived during this period. However, we do know that there stands a connection between the lion on this side of the statue, and the she-wolf (lupa) on the other side of the statue.

East Side

On the right, we can see the East side of the statue of Garibaldi. The side faces the city of Rome, more specifically it is exactly pointed towards 'Il Vittoriano', the monument of Italy's first king. The statue shows us the defense of the Roman Republic in 1849. Troops, under command of Garibaldi had to defend against the French force, sent by Napoleon.

In April of the year 1849 Garibaldi defeated the French army while the French were considered as the superior one. After this victory, French reinforcements arrived which made it impossible for Garibaldi to book further successes against the French.

As a result, Garibaldi chose to retreat from Rome and continue his resistance from the Apennine mountains, stating: 'Dovunque saremo, colà sarà Roma' (Wherever we may be, there will be Rome).

Again we need to ask ourselves, why this event is important enough to be shown on the statue of Garibaldi. Even though Garibaldi started out well during this battle, eventually he had to flee from the French forces. An even more important question is why is this battle facing the city of Rome itself? The answer to that question is important in order to find the true intentions of the artist.

The defense of Rome in 1849 was against the French troops who were backing the Papal States. As said before, this defense was in Rome. More specifically, this defense was on the Janiculumitself. The hill on which the statue of Garibaldi is located. This might be the reason why the picture of this battle of Garibaldi is important enough to be on Garibaldi's monument. But why is this battle facing the Vittoriano? Here the importance of the battle must be emphasised. Was it the most important battle in the history of Garibald? That is not true. This battle, the defense on the Janiculum, must be considered as the most important battle of Garibaldi in Rome. This is also the only battle of Garibaldi in Rome which brought any success where the revolutionists managed to keep Rome as a Republic until July. This also highlights why this battle is facing Rome; citizens of Rome will see this battle firstly when they look towards the Janiculum. They immediately will be remembered that Garibaldi fought for Rome, for their city. The first battle on the Janiculum as well as its success are more important to Roman citizens than for instance the battle of Calatafimi.

In the picture on the right above, we can see that the statue is exactly in line with Il Vittoriano. Although rather small, one can see certain protrusions of Vittorio Emanuele II's monument.

North Side

Above we see the North side of the statue, which represents America. Garibaldi was considered to be the 'eroe dei due mondi', the hero of two continents. Besides fighting in Europe, he also fought in America.

South Side

Besides the fact that Garibaldi was a freedom fighter in Europe, it might also be argued that Europe is depicted on this statue for representing a juridical point of view in which justice, transparency, and equality are from utmost importance and should be present in unified Italy.

Statue of Anita Garibaldi

A monument to honor the great effort and deeds of Anita is also stationed on the Janiculum hill in Rome. This equestrian statue was inspired by an event during the war fought for the freedom and the independence of the Rio Grande do Sul Republic. Whilst Giuseppe Garibaldi was away his camp at Mostardas was suddenly attacked and stormed during the night. Anita managed to escape capture by jumping onto a horse and galloping away with her baby who had been born a few days before. The statue is the work of the sculptor Mario Rutelli|18|.

South and East side of the statue

On the base, the front panel (south) and the panel facing the street (east) depict in one scene Anita leading a rank of soldiers across the pampas.

West side of the statue

The panel on the west side depicts Anita who is anxiously searching for Giuseppe's body amongst the bodies of the soldiers fallen on the battle field of Curitibanos since she had no news of him after the battle.

North side of the statue

The back panel of the statue depicts an ill and exhausted Anita in Garibaldi's arms having escaped from the Austrians who were hunting them down after the glorious defense of Rome and having finally reached the Coast of Romagna, not far from Ravenna. Here, on August 4, 1849, Anita died in a farm, near the hamlet of Mandriole. Her body lies in the base of the monument.

Analysis of the statue

There are several clear differences to be seen between the statue of Anita and the statue of Giuseppe. To start with the posture of Anita. Anita is sitting on a horse, fleeing from her aggressors, holding her son in her arms. She has a motile position, with her horse galloping, she brings a completely different message than the statue of Giuseppe does. Where the statue of Giuseppe wants to radiate calmness and firmness, the statue of Anita wants to show the audience movement and mobility. But also fear and determination. The fact that Anita holds a pistol in the air might refer to the fact that she is not willing to surrender. She wants to keep fighting. She is confident and wants to inspire her followers because she is positioned as a leader. In the statue, she is holding her baby. This does not only refer to the situation at the time but it also wants to show the audience that she is considerate and caring.

The side panels of the statue hold a similar meaning as the side panels of Giuseppe's statue: It wants to show remarkable moments in the life of Anita Garibaldi. It actually also shows an extremely brief lifeline. Starting with her leading her rebels, then searching for Giuseppe his body, and eventually her death.

We do not think that the location of the statue has a particular meaning; the statue is positioned at the Janiculum Hill, but this must be because of the fact that most of the heroes from the Risorgimento are remembered here.

Understanding the Risorgimento

Understanding the Janiculum and its depicted two important figures of the Risorgimento it is crucial to value the governmental situation from a rhetorical point of view. This will give some insights to see the complexity of the Risorgimento period and its struggles to unify Italy. Furthermore, this part will shed some light to whom the place of remembrance was initially addressed and which constraints must have been overcome to make a powerful statement.

Italy and the power of the church

Crispi and Italy

Francesco Crispi, a former supporter of Garibaldi, was the current Prime Minister when the statue was inaugurated in 1895. When it comes to Italy and Crispi in general it must be highlighted that he wanted to establish Italy as a colonial power which can only be achieved with a unified Italy. Additionally Crispi thought that such unification could only be guaranteed with a monarchy which represents "the best guarantee of internal cohesion"|19|.

Italy had a long tradition while being under the power of the church. "Music, art, architecture, rituals, incense and spectacular vestments"|20| were the merits of the church in former centuries. Crispi did not want to change the deep cultural values and thought while holding onto these values he could form a powerful Italy. In fact, he emphasised the focus on the elevation of monarchy in Italy even though having a quite distant relationship to its first king Vittorio Emanuele II. When the first king of a unified Italy died in 1978, he tried to turn him into a national symbol|21| while using the cult of the dead which is understood as a quite important religious template. A period of public grief and the choice of his burial in the Pantheon was a consciously made decision to highlight the importance of the king as well as Rome as a capital|22|. This event was also underlined by mass public participation. Crispi hoped that the cemetery could become a point for pilgrimage what the burials of Mazzini (Genoa) and Garibaldi (Caprera) could not achieve.

Italy in need for a monarchy?- An inner twist

The political relation between Crispi and Vittorio Emanuele II can be best described as a love-hate relationship. On the one hand, Crispi wanted to have a symbol for Italy's unity. He did not deliberately choose Garibaldi because he wanted to have someone who could represent Italy's values as its best and according to him that should have been someone with monarchic roots|23|. Even though Victor Emanuele II's roots are deeply monarchic, his Piedmontese roots created a dilemma. The first king of Italy did not see himself as a Roman but as a citizen of Turin and the Alpine valleys|24| which led to his rare physical appearance in Rome. These events and the internal struggle of governmental unity in the first years after the capture of Rome in 1970 accentuate the lack of a strong personality as well as leadership which Rome was desperately in need of.

Crispi's support of the monarchy posed some serious friction with Mazzini. In the first place, Crispi who was one of the frontrunners and Garibaldi's supporter in the Redshirts expedition in May 1860|25| was also a follower of "Mazzini's old plan for an Italian revolution starting in the south"|26|. Mazzini never intended to implement a monarchist Italy which Crispi favoured, but had the idea of an Italian Republic in mind. Mazzini's refusal of a monarchist Italy accumulated in such a way that according to Garibaldi, Mazzini preferred Rome in Papal power rather than having Rome in union with a monarchist Italy|27|. This highlights the different views Crispi, Mazzini and also Garibaldi had in mind.

The Garibaldian idea - Condemned to Failure?

In his first years Garibaldi was a strong supporter of Mazzini's political idea but in the coming years he separated himself more and more from Mazzini and his view. Whereas Garibaldi is described as a "violent and stubborn form of anticlericalism"|28| this was unfamiliar or even foreign to Mazzini. Garibaldi could also be seen as the brawn rather than the brain in Italy's liberation. However, he did not accept this role because he also wanted to be part of the decision-making process. Thus, neither of the two, Mazzini nor Garibaldi, accepted the role which actually would have suited each personality. In addition, Garibaldi was much more than a skilful person on the battlefield, however, his inability to see the greater picture as well as the way that he firstly addressed his personal matters highlights his inability to approach all Italian challenges at that time. While fighting for a unified Italian he may have forgotten why his battles were from utmost importance.

These inner ideological conflicts between Garibaldi and Mazzini as well as Mazzini and Crispi did not help Italy to unite their strength and become a powerful union. It is crucial to understand the co-existence of the different ideologies and the lack of a strong personality who could have overcome this situation while acting in the nation's best interest|29|. Vittorio Emanuele II's successor as a king Umberto I could not overcome these struggles, neither the foreign policy of Crispi from 1887 - 1891. However, the outbreak of the Banca Romana scandal in 1892 accelerated the request of a powerful leader and visibly depicted Italy's lack of unity.

Citizens such as Sonnino|30| were already aware of this dilemma in which his article was published and highly recognized in the Nuova antologia. Italy really needed an influential leader:

"The failure of the monarchy after 1860 to occupy a strong symbolic role in the life of the country, correct the defects of parliamentary government, and forcefully embody the honour and dignity of the nation, left a vacuum at the heart of the state. (...) A surrogate monarch who could resolve internal fractures of the country through personal magnetism, commitment to the nation as a transcendent ideal, disregard for parliament, and pursuit of a strong foreign policy culminating, if possible, in a successful war, was a compelling template."|31|

The Janiculum - A unification symbol

The importance of the Risorgimento for the Italian people

The previous section described the internal struggles of the Risorgimento. Now we want to turn our focus to the Italian people. Why would the people of this nation need such a place of remembrance? Why should this place be located in Rome? Why was Garibaldi depicted in the statue and not the Vittorio Emmanuele II, the first king of unified Italy?

When the construction of the statue in 1885 began Italy faced the aforementioned internal struggles. Firstly, this statute should address all Italians while reminding all civilians what Italy can achieve. On the East side the defence of Rome in 1849 is depicted. Under Garibaldi's lead troops fought against the French force and were defeated in June of 1849. This event marks the first battle for a united Italy and highlights what effort must be undertaken to achieve this. The West side illustrates the Expedition of the Thousand and signals a great victory for the supporter of the Risorgimento. This serves as a reminder what a small number of people is able to achieve when they pursue their beliefs and how much more powerful Italy could be when all Italians act as one nation.

In the years before the unification Italy was split into many regional states and was not perceived as a powerful nation. The Risorgimento wanted to change this fact. While unifying Italy, among many critical points this movement wanted to return Italy's glory as a powerful state on the European continent. A strong Italy was needed to represent this state. The transition period which extended Italy's inability to receive external glory was already a process which lasted roughly two decades.

Garibaldi as an identification figure for all Italians

Garibaldi, one of the initiators of this movement was the perfect figure representing the people and the statue. He was one of them who fought for Italy long before the Risorgimento really emerged. While being sentenced to death, his final destination was South America where he continued his fight for independence. That time for the Brazilian region of Rio Grande do Sul. Garibaldi could never stop thinking about his home country. This was one of the reasons why he returned to finally complete his earlier started mission. A person who resembles an identification figure for Italy played an essential role placing him on the Janiculum hill. Even after his defeat in 1849 Garibaldi never gave up to fight for his dream. This is an important message which this statue tries to communicate. The Italians should never stop believing in a unity and ultimately finish Garibaldi's long lasting fight and the fight of all others who are depicted in the busts.

The statue wants to overcome obstacles the Risorgimento could not achieve at that certain period. Crispi, as probably many Italians at that time, was aware that a new united Italy, respected internationally by other countries, would not immediately solve all the challenges it encountered. Thus, a strong symbolic figure for all Italians was necessary to build identification. Thus, the aforementioned internal governmental twists were vividly evident. Furthermore, a lack of identification due to the federal Italian history combined with the challenges the early Risorgimento period encountered should be overcome to create a strong Italian nation.

There was no doubt that Garibaldi could not be this person anymore because he was not among the Italians due to his dead in 1882 but Italy needed a strong leader who could overcome all the struggles Italy faced in the end of 19th century. Many self-appointed leaders could not solve Italy's main problem until then.

Italy - Bound for glory?

The usage of the representation of America and Europe on the North and South sides, respectively are an empowerment of Italy's desirable return to international glory as well as marking the onset of a glorious Roman Third Empire. On the one hand, this highlights Italy's quest to show the entire world which portentous meaning Italy and its unity represents. On the other hand, it was a signal to its own people that this rough path can only be achieved as collective state. This state should be a state which believes in itself, a state which shows the rest of the world its common proper cultural heritage, and being a state where the unity of people works towards common goals.

The importance of this statue must be extensively valued because it symbolizes the Risorgimento period. In summary, the statue addresses several important key points: (1) The attempt to address all Italians, (2) highlighting the essential role of Rome, (3) the need of a powerful leader, and (4) the need of one leader who combines a strong symbolic role with executive constitutional functioning|32|.


The Janiculum Hill provides tourists with a breathtaking view over the entire city. Remembering the battles which are attempting to remove the Papal States on this hill a few centuries ago contribute to an overwhelming feeling. Italians like to think of this place as a place to remember the great combatants who fought for the unification of Italy. While standing in front of the Statue of Garibaldi, the statue seems colossal in which its majesty simply leaves the spectator speechless. Furthermore, Garibaldi's impact moving Italy from a regional state to a unified country adds a distinct signification to this place of remembrance. He is perceived as an important man for the unification of Italy in the 19th century.

The statue shows the beholder an imposing and confident man who knew exactly what he stood for and was willing to risk his own life but also the lives of the ones he loved. Garibaldi saw the death of Anita and other great fighters not merely as a loss, but more as a price to be paid for the greater good, the people of Italy. One the one hand, Garibaldi has doubtlessly a narcissistic personality, however, his heroic fight for his values and virtues should not be forgotten and brought all Italians an identification figure which was important to move federal identity to a more national level. Thus, the cultural diversity all federal states represent were unified to one entity in which Italians were now able to fully respect and appreciate the values and cultural traditions of the different regions. This helped to shape Italy's perception worldwide.

Garibaldi's statue conveys another important message. Garibaldi did suffer a lot of losses during his battles in South America and in Europe. This never stopped Garibaldi achieving his goal. He was confident in his actions while pursuing his goal with complete determination. Even bigger setbacks could not stop his dream. That is the reason why the most important defeats as well as his major victory, the Expedition of the Thousands are displayed on his statue. The message this statue wants to communicate is that the recovery of a loss made Garibaldi's intention even stronger. Learning from previous mistakes helped to build a more potent support among civilians which finally made his dream come true in a geographical perspective.

Taking the triangle, between the statue of Garibaldi, Il Vittoriano and the Vatican into account, the spectator is remembered once more about the explosive situation between the three. Garibaldi and Vittorio Emanuelle II who were both fighting for the unification of Italy, whereas the Papal army supported by the French military under the command of Napoleon were trying to prevent this occurrence. The Pope wanted the Vatican to stay independent, not as a part of the rest of Italy. This geographical triangle marks the cornerstone in the understanding of the Risorgimento period and his significance in modern Italian history in which the Janiculum and not the Il Vittoriano is the true symbol representing the Risorgimento.