In 1922, Benito Mussolini set up a fascist dictatorship in Italy. The party song of his party, “Giovinezza” was also recognized as a secondary national anthem alongside the royal anthem, much like the German Nazi party song “Horst Wessel Song” was used as a secondary anthem in Germany during the war. After his removal as leader, the anthem was used as the sole anthem of the Italian Social Republic, the German puppet state in Northern Italy that had Mussolini as it’s head, from 1943 to 1945.
“Giovinezza” was first composed in 1909 under the title “Commiato”. It was played by the soldiers that were fighting in Africa, and in 1917 the song became known as “Inno degli Arditi” (Hymn of the Arditi), who were a group of soldiers in the Italian Royal Army. The first group of Italian fascists came from this group of soldiers. During the “March on Rome”, it was being sung by the fascists, which led to its consideration as the official anthem of the Fascist Regime. The lyrics of “Giovinezza” as used by the fascist party were not the original lyrics, but rather commissioned by Mussolini himself to Salvator Gotta to be written.
Special thanks to: Federico Vicini for his English translation.