RIZZI Andrea



MA History, University Ca’ Foscari, grade 110/110

Ph.D./Filosofian Tohtori, University of Turku (Finland), Italian Studies, 2016, grade “magna cum laude”





Le relazioni Italo – Finlandesi nella documentazione del Ministero degli Affari Esteri Italiano e nel “Memoriale” di Attilio Tamaro (1929 – 1935) – [Italian-Finnish relations in the documentation of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and in the “Memoir” of Attilio Tamaro (1929-1935)], Turun Yliopisto Julkaisuja, Turku, 2016, pp. 433 pp., 27 pp. appendix


My doctoral thesis may be placed within the branch of studies on the history of international relations and it examines the development of Italian-Finnish bilateral relations during the mandate of  Attilio Tamaro, the plenipotentiary Minister (1929-1935). The research is based exclusively on Italian sources, on the private documentation of the diplomat and on his “Memoriale”, which have been critically analysed, using theories, such as  those on  the policies of power, on the soft power and on foreign trade. This research aims to draw attention to the bilateral dynamics, and to bridge the gaps of the specific historiography, paying attention to the relations between the Lapua movement and Italian fascism, and to the role that the Minister Tamaro played. The 1929-1935 period  is the most intense one in the bilateral relations, and it expands those already begun in the Twenties, thereby replacing the idea of a poor and backward Italy with that of a modern, strong and orderly country that fascism had been capable of building. The need for Finland to solve its internal problems led to the development of the lappist movement in the first few months of 1930 which, with its anticommunism and anti-parliamentarism, led conservative Finland to look towards the Italian political model with particular fondness. The Italian diplomacy, at least during the Grandi ministry, distinguished itself for its moderate involvement in its connections with lappism. After 1932, with the spread of universal fascism, opposing national-socialism, the relationships between fascism and the lappist movement intensified and led the IKL (Patriotic People’s Movement) into the Italian sphere. Actually, especially after 1933, what was the most effective instrument of Tamaro’s political action was culture: the Italian Readership, the cultural associations, and the use of the cinematic arts and art were the channels for the expansion of a cultural imperialism which abounded in political propaganda. With the War of Ethiopia in 1935, the good Italian-Finnish relationships partly cooled down because Italy appeared to be a dangerous nation for the stability of the security system of Finland. The research results are stimulating: they bring to light the ambitions of  great power of monarchist-fascist Italy; they show the importance of the Italian example in inspiring the conservative Finnish right-wing; they allow one to hypothesize that there was at least an indirect influence of the Italian model on the development of Finnish events. The aspiration of our research is to stimulate further studies on diplomatic, military and trade relations between Italy and the Scandinavian countries from 1919 to today.

KEYWORDS: Diplomatic history, Italian-Finnish relationships, Attilio Tamaro, Italian foreign policy in the interwar years,  Transnational fascism, Cultural diplomacy, Italian-Finnish trade.


La Valle della giovinezza. Storia dell’ultimo “Campo Dux” e dei ragazzi di Salò in Val d’Astico nell’estate 1944, (The valley of the “Youth”. The “Campo Dux” and the republican drilling units in the Valley of Astico – summer 1944), Cierre Edizioni, Caselle di Sommacampagna (Vr), 2011, pp. 336.


In the middle of a tragic war which was now being fought on Italian soil, a stream of men of very different ages and social conditions, moved, dreamed and trained. They desired and hoped to contribute to changing the outcome of a conflict and to show a wish for counter change that could wipe out the “dishonour” represented by their armistice of 8 September, 1943. Their destination was the Valley of Astico in the province of Vicenza (Northern Italy),

whose name changed in the summer months of 1944 into the “Valley of the Youth”. This is a page of history which has been forgotten, and it brings together and documents for the first time the events of the only “Camp Dux” of the Opera Balilla youth movement and three other important drilling units of the then Italian Social Republic: The Officer Cadet Schools of the Italian National Republican Guards of Vicenza and Modena and the Italian National Republican Guards’ school for drilling “Milizia della Strada“. Alongside the facts, the work portrays a volunteer phenomenon at a national level which has been ignored by historiography until now, and which reappears clearly in these pages represented efficiently by the thousands of “Fiamme Bianche” “White Flames” belonging to the “Opera Balilla” in 62 provinces of Italy which were not occupied by the Anglo-Americans. These “Fiamme Bianche” had arrived in the North to drill for the army with a view to taking part in the war within the divisions of the National Republican Guards of Renato Ricci.

This study, accompanied by unedited photographs granted by the historical archives of the “Istituto Luce” (the Cinematographic Educative Union) and the Archives of the Centro Studi RSI (centre of studies on the Italian Social Republic) of Salò, restores a cross-section of the life of those Italians and provides information that is useful in order to learn about the moral and political universe that prompted those who took part in the Italian Social Republic.




Un irredentista nel Nord Europa: la Finlandia negli scritti diplomatici e privati di Attilio Tamaro (1930 – 1935), (An Irredentist in Northern Europe: Finland in the diplomatic and private writings of Attilio Tamaro) Atti del Convegno “Cento anni di relazioni tra Italia e Finlandia”, «Settentrione nuova serie. Rivista di studi italo-finlandesi», 2017, nr. 29, pp. 36 – 46.


Per una storia delle relazioni Italo-Finlandesi, 1919-1935, (For a history of the Italo-Finnish relationships, 1919-1935), «Nuova Rivista Storica», Società Dante Alighieri, Roma, 2015 (3), pp. 897-921


Immediately after the First World War, despite Italy’s victorious exit from  this conflict, the opinion in Finland was that the country was just an average power, with little political prestige, compared to the most important European powers. This belief was due to the fact that there were very few Italians present in Finland and to the widespread anti-Italian propaganda. During the 1920’s, the pioneering aviation enterprises of the Regia Marina and of the Regia Aeronautica facilitated commercial contacts, and there followed an increasing appreciation of the Italian military and industrial products. The arrival of fascism with widespread propaganda about what it had achieved facilitated a  real political exportation, which was welcomed in the ultra-nationalist humus deeply rooted in the Finnish society. Exchanges of military missions combined with the curiosity and the attraction surrounding fascism and Mussolini, guaranteed the consolidation of Italian prestige. The birth of the Lapua movement with its developments represented the best illustration of how Italian facts and events had influenced the Finnish ones. When Attilio Tamaro was sent to Helsinki (1929-1935), a golden period began, with increasing cultural and political initiatives that ended with the Finnish choice to apply sanctions (November 1935) during the second Italian-Abyssian conflict.


Il consolidamento della lingua italiana in Finlandia e il lettorato di Ernesto Peternolli (1936-1938), (The stabilization of Italian language in Finland and the lectorship of Ernesto Peternolli (1936-1938), «Settentrione nuova serie. Rivista di studi italo-finlandesi», nr.26 (2014), pp. 16-28.

“Da un punto di vista del tema da sempre perseguito da Settentrione, le relazioni italo-finlandesi, la vera perla è l’articolo di Andrea Rizzi, Il consolidamento della lingua italiana in Finlandia e il lettorato di Ernesto Peternolli (1936-1938). Rizzi sta per presentare la sua tesi di dottorato di ricerca presso il dipartimento di italiano dell’università di Turku, incentrata sul periodo “finlandese” dell’ambasciatore Attilio Tamaro, che resse la legazione d’Italia a Helsinki a partire dal 1929. Fu un periodo ricco di attività per promuovere non solo le relazioni diplomatiche tra un’Italia fascista e una Finlandia comunque fortemente antibolscevica, ma anche quelle culturali. Rizzi segue come filo rosso l’attività di Ernesto Peternolli, che insegnò per tre anni l’italiano in vari atenei e città della Finlandia, ma sullo sfondo abbiamo il panorama molto più ampio degli incontri tra l’intellettualità finlandese e quella italiana. Peternolli è meno noto di Luigi Salvini, l’altro benemerito della lingua e cultura italiana dell’anteguerra, e per questo motivo, il contributo di Rizzi risulta essere ancora più prezioso. Si tratta di un eccellente completamento al libro di prossima presentazione che l’Ambasciata d’Italia di Helsinki ha voluto dedicare ai rapporti italo-finlandesi in occasione del centenario della Residenza in Tehtaankatu a Helsinki”



La letteratura idroaviatoria tra le due guerre mondiali, (The hydro-aviation Italian literature between the two World Wars), «Discorso e cultura nella lingua e nella letteratura italiana. Atti del V Convegno internazionale di italianistica dell’Università di Craiova, 20-21 settembre 2013», Craiova (Romania), pp. 705-716.


Il rinascimento culturale italiano in Finlandia (1933-1935), (The Italian cultural Renaissance in Finland 1933-1935)  in «Settentrione nuova serie. Rivista di studi italo-finlandesi», nr. 24, (2012), pp. 88-102.


Luigi Salvini e la propaganda culturale italiana in Finlandia agli inizi degli anni Trenta, (Luigi Salvini and the Italian cultural propaganda in Finland at the beginning of the 30’s)   in «Clio. Rivista trimestrale di studi storici», n. 4/11, (2011), pp. 653-679.


La valle della giovinezza. I reparti addestrativi repubblicani in Val d’Astico nella primavera-estate 1944, , (The Valley of the Youth. The republican drilling units in the Valley of Astico in spring summer 1944)  in «Venetica», n. 02/2009, (2010), pp. 103-123.

 Other scholarly works:


La valle della giovinezza. Il “Campo Dux” e i reparti addestrativi repubblicani nella Valle dell’Astico – estate 1944, (The Valley of Youth. The “Camp Dux” and the republican drilling units in the Valley of Astico – summer 1944) in UNIVERSITA’ CA’ FOSCARI VENEZIA – DIPARTIMENTO DI STUDI STORICI, Annali 2008-2009 (in the Department of Historical Studies, Annals 2008-2009, the University of Ca’ Foscari, Venice). Studi e materiali dalle tesi di laurea, Ca’ Foscarina, Venezia Studies and material from the thesis for the degree from the University of Ca’ Foscari, Venice, 2010, 145-170.


L’ultima giovinezza. I reparti addestrativi repubblicani presenti a Velo d’Astico nella primavera estate 1944, Quaderni storici della Biblioteca “A.Fogazzaro”, Comune di Velo d’Astico, Arsiero, 2009, pp. 32.  (The last youth. The republican drilling divisions present in Velo d’Astico in spring summer 1944).