"In her neighborhood, we don't want to see Meloni"

Movie buffs will know Garbatella for being Nanni Moretti's favorite neighborhood in Rome in Expensive Daily (1993).

19 September 2022 Monday 11:36
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"In her neighborhood, we don't want to see Meloni"

Movie buffs will know Garbatella for being Nanni Moretti's favorite neighborhood in Rome in Expensive Daily (1993). Fans of the Italian political labyrinth, also for being the birthplace of Giorgia Meloni, the leader of the Brothers of Italy who could very soon rule the country.

“Sorry, I got hot. They tell me I scream. I swear I'm trying, I'm trying to be calmer. But I'm from Garbatella, ragazzi ”, she excused herself, after raising her voice, at a rally in Sicily.

Outside the tourist circuit, Garbatella is a Roman pride, one of those popular neighborhoods that has managed to immunize itself from gentrification. It was founded in the 1920s under an ambitious urban project to house port and railway workers. Later, Benito Mussolini moved the families who lived around the Vatican and were evicted here to build the famous Conciliation Avenue, which leads to St. Peter's Square.

A century later, the popular identity has been maintained. In last year's municipal elections, it was the district that voted the most for Roberto Gualtieri, the mayor of the Democratic Party (PD).

"In her neighborhood, we don't want to see Meloni," says Giulia, a young woman who walks with a friend arm in arm through a tree-lined square. “You won't find many supportive people here. I will vote for the PD. Although I am not convinced by Enrico Letta, he is the least bad of all”. Irene, in her kiosk since 1989, has never seen her up close. “Only at a rally far away, but you don't even want to. This is a very leftist neighborhood. Even if she is a woman, we will not vote for her here.”

Meloni spent the first years of her life in the Camilluccia neighborhood, in an elegant area of ​​Rome. After her father abandoned her and sailed to the Canaries on a ship called the Cavallo pazzo (crazy horse), she and her sister Arianna, two little girls, decided to have a doll party in her room, and ended up setting the house on fire. House. Her mother had to start over, and she bought an apartment a short distance from her parents' in Garbatella. Legend has it that the neighborhood owes its name to Carlotta, a young garbata e bella (kind and pretty), who served pilgrims on their way to the nearby Basilica of Saint Paul.

Thus, a young Meloni grew up between school, her grandparents' house and the San Felipe Neri parish, where she made communion. In the church square, the children have bicycle races or play ball. Two women who help at mass say that she is not seen much around this place, although she repeatedly speaks of the Christian family. “She will have changed parishes. I liked her before, but I will not vote for her because she did not support Mario Draghi, who is the only one who could govern this country well, ”explains Laura, while she waits for the priest to finish dispatching a couple. "I do see her, she keeps coming to my store," agrees her butcher. “He always buys steaks and hamburgers. The usual, because he has a girl. She is kind, sometimes she sends someone else, but if she can, she comes.”

“I'm a little older than her, but we weren't from the same circle. I was in this square with the communists. She frequented other types of people, you know what I mean…” says Luciano, 51, at the Cesaroni bar, named after a popular television series about a neighborhood family.

In her autobiography, Meloni says she learned that "enemies are useful" when some boys wouldn't let her play volleyball because she was too "fat." At fifteen, and after a youth marked by bullying, she appeared at the local youth section of the post-fascist Italian Social Movement (MSI). They were tense times. They had just assassinated the anti-mafia judge Paolo Borsellino. His friends have become party leaders like Marco Marsilio, president of the Abruzzo region. In 1996, she gave an interview to French television that has gone viral: "I think Mussolini was a good politician," said the young Meloni. Everything he did he did for Italy”. Today she denies fascism and defends that he has been relegated to oblivion for decades.

The old local of the youth of the MSI has the blinds lowered. “I knew his mother. She was a young woman with a lot of personality. The path he has followed does not surprise me at all, ”says a neighbor who lives nearby. Not far from the headquarters, a graffiti reads, in red letters: "Communism is the youth of the world."



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