“Our City Was Made Worthy Daughter of Italy by The Merit of Its Sons”, Post-Imperial Fiume between Victorious Italian National Narratives, Locals’ Experiences, and Economic and Cultural Ties
The demise of the Austro-Hungarian Empire made the elite of Fiume embrace a wide range of Italian national discourses and tropes. The former Hungarian port-city overnight became celebrated in Fiume and in Italy as the most Italian of cities, neglecting and marginalizing citizens’ defeating wartime experience with the Habsburgs. D’Annunzio’s presence in town and the local events that lead to annexation to Italy in 1924, were furtherly used as milestones to reinforce Fiume’s image as an indisputable Italian bulwark. What I intend to present are preliminary remarks on local politics of memory of World War One and postwar events, relating them to locals’ experiences of the war and postwar violence and political struggles. The cultural background of the authors of some prominent monuments will be examined and questioned will be how much the (Austro)-Hungarian cultural and economic ties and references persisted even after annexation, despite or regardless of the Italianity discourse(s).