The Italian tradition of “antifascist pasta” on the 25th of July.
Every year, on July 25, it is a tradition for Italy’s Partisans Association ANPI and other antifascist groups and citizens to gather for a pasta dinner in honour of the famous dinner given by the Cervi family for the local population in Gattatico (Reggio Emilia) on July 26th, 1943.
The Cervi family was a staunch antifascist family throughout the regime’s long years. When Resistance broke out against Mussolini’s henchmen and the nazi occupation forces, the Cervi brothers (Gelindo, Antenore, Aldo, Ferdinando, Agostino, Ovidio and Ettore) formed a partisan band with other comrades.
On July 26th, 1943, the Cervi family invited all those who wished to celebrate the fall of the Fascist regime and the arrest of its leaders to dinner and cooked a huge amount of pasta.
The situation was reversed the following September, when Hitler’s paras freed Mussolini from captivity and reinstated him in the puppet Salò “Republic”. Months later, on the night between the 24th and 25th November 1943, a fascist squad burst into the Cervi family’s farmhouse and took away the head of the family, Alcide, and his seven male sons. They were taken to prison in Reggio Emilia, and, on December 28th, the seven brothers, along with another prisoner, Quarto Camurri, were executed by firing squad.
Their father only learned ofthe death of his sons later, as he made his escape from prison taking advantage of an allied air raid.