Alcide De Gasperi, a European Italian

October 26, 2009 / Local Interest
Rome, Italy

Alcide de Gasperi (1881-1954) was an Italian leader of great integrity, so much so that the Catholic Church is in the process of considering him for sainthood. At a time when Italian politics in general (from the Prime Minister on down, majority as well as opposition) is putting a dark cloud over Italy’s public image, it’s nice to remember that politics in this vibrant country can shine golden as well.

Born in Trento in the north of Italy, de Gasperi is considered not only a father of the Italian Republic but one of the fathers of Europe. Near the Vatican at the beginning of a street that bears his name, there is a monument to this exceptional man: an opponent of Ethnic nationalisms, the founder of the Italian Christian Democrat party, and a tough anti-Fascist activist—he considered Mussolini “a Bolshevik in black.”

degasperiCarved along this simple rectangular structure covered with grass are the following words: (translated)

“The European man must accept the experiences of others, he must learn to live in a larger community where he shall know how to defend his own liberty and the liberty of others. Tolerance translated in works of justice and peace in the social and international realms will give us license as citizens of Europe. In society this is called ‘brotherhood’, and it requires the spirit of sacrifice in the service of the community.”

Keep an eye out for the current itinerant international exposition entitled, “Alcide de Gasperi: An European that came from the Future.”


by Alejandra Fabris

— Contributed by Alejandra Fabris, writer, American University of Rome Senior, Italian Notebook Editorial Intern.

5 Responses to “Alcide De Gasperi, a European Italian”

  1. Sylvia Flores

    Thank you for sharing this…I’ll have to look for it next time I’m in Rome. Thanks so much for your passion and information!

  2. Ken Borelli

    Why would the Catholic Church want to try to cannonize De Gasperi, given their ambivilent roll during World War II…..they played both sides to the max! rather than cannonize De Gasperi….why not Galileo……the Catholic Church is an excercise in co-option!

  3. Arnie Wininger

    In 1947 I had the pleasure of personally meeting De Gasperi during a
    visit to the Fiera del Levante a Bari together Evita Peron. A really
    great Prime Minister and a Gentleman.

  4. Stanley Crabb

    …And to think that we arrived in Italy about five years later. They still talk about him with kind words, as far as I know.


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