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09 May1938
Hitler in Florence
Famiglia Valaperti
Music by Alessio Ricci & Mix audio Pierpaolo Ovarini | Biennio di Musica da Film del Conservatorio di Musica di Bologna

"In Florence, the car cut through the well-known oceanic crowd of great occasions, and shouts and gestures struck directly; it was a physical sensation, a sort of electric massage, perceptible even to me, to whom the shouts and gestures were not directed; and I had the perception that, for those two characters, this electrifying contact must have become an irrepressible need, to be renewed from time to time, without which they could not live, and which gave them a sort of mute exaltation. It was perhaps, for them, the real reason for their adventure." The two characters are Hitler and Mussolini, and the words are by Ranuccio Bianchi Bandinelli, the great archaeologist who, on 8 May 1938, was tasked with accompanying the Führer and the Duce on a visit to the Tuscan capital. The 16mm camera that filmed the event, impressing it on AGFA film, was instead owned by Attavante Valaperti, the son of an important industrialist from Prato who had become very rich from nothing. Attavante films the great anticipation in the city for what looks like 'a renaissance party': the contagious excitement, the palaces decked out for the passage of the two people in a car, an Isotta Fraschini. Attavante films them from the window of a tailor's shop in Via de' Tornabuoni. His son Giuseppe would comment, many years later: 'It could be, I don't know, Kennedy's parade in Dallas, only there he was shot and here no one shot him... One would have been better off for many years.' Yet Bianchi Bandinelli himself is thinking of tyrannicide, of killing Mussolini and Hitler, writing in his diary: "What if I blew myself up as I climbed onto the car step with them?" But history is not made with ifs and Valaperti will never be the man who filmed the killing of Hitler and Mussolini.