The Week Before the Election

Photographing Italian Politics

Few Italian elections since the turn of the millennium have felt more like the twentieth century than this one.

The door to Salvini. Election advert, Torino taxi.

That’s not to say that other Italian polls haven’t. Just not to the same degree, due to the fidelity of Giorgia Meloni’s politics with those of Benito Mussolini.

Whereas other right-wing politicians have taken inspiration from Il Duce, and copped his language, Meloni and her party conduct themselves like they were his inheritors.

This has been key to making this Italian election feel like a resumption of older conflicts: Between fascists and communists, between East and West, and Italy and its former colonies.

Silvio Berlusconi and Matteo Salvini’s outspoken defence of Vladimir Putin, and his invasion of Ukraine, as though they were protecting Lenin and the USSR, underlines how widespread the fantasy is.

Shot over the week leading up to today’s vote, the following photos help emphasise how retrograde these politics are, and why the Italian left needs to do a better job of making them history.


Mussolini was hung here. Piazzale Loreto, Milano.


The luxury of citizenship. Anti-election flyers, Torino.


Döner and gelato. Lingotto, Torino.


The struggle with fascism. Nizza-Millefonti, Torino.


Last bus before Meloni. Via Nizza, Torino.


Just kids. Italia 61, Torino.


World War II forever. Communist graffiti, fascist posters, Torino.


The better Italy. Wedding party, Comune di Torino.


Matteo Salvini vs. human rights. Nizza-Millefonti, Torino.


This article first appeared in The Battleground’s Substack newsletter. Photographs courtesy of the author. All rights reserved.