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24 May1926
Mussolini's ship
Fratelli Chierici
Music by Guglielmo Pagnozzi

"The Hon. Mussolini fixes his gaze on Genoa, as the 'Esperia' enters the port of the maritime city, cheering the Duce, from the flag-draped ships and packed docks". On the morning of 24 May 1926, Benito Mussolini arrived in Genoa on an official visit aboard the ship Esperia, which had left Fiumicino the night before. Mussolini arrives from the sea and photographs published in the newspapers show him on the ship as it enters the port. He is wearing a felucca. A previously unseen image of the head of government, which we do not see in this 9.5 mm film The photographer and cinematographer Ludovico Maria Chierici, in fact, keeps his distance by pointing his camera at the Esperia, a steamship built in Sestri Levante. At the time of its completion in 1912, it was considered the fastest and most luxurious passenger ship in the Mediterranean and nicknamed 'the dancer of the Mediterranean'. Among politicians she has already brought Winston Churchill. This time it is Mussolini's turn. Chierici shoots the Esperia escorted by another ship, the Città di Catania from above, probably from Piazzale San Francesco d'Assisi (now the Rotonda di via Corsica) or from the rear but higher walls of the Marina, below the Sarzano area. The buildings in the foreground, when the ship towed by the tug is seen, are the warehouses and offices of the Carenaggio docks.

During his visit, Mussolini will say in front of the assembled crowd, said to be five hundred thousand people waiting for him: "I want Genoa to hurl itself towards the future with the impetus with which Balilla threw his stone, I want it to be one heart, one soul, one will, stretched out in the name of fascism towards the future!" With the nickname Balilla, tradition identifies the 'little boy' who in the mid-18th century started an 18th century popular revolt against the Austrian occupier. Fascism appropriated this figure by naming the newly founded Opera Nazionale per l'assistenza e per l'educazione fisica e morale della gioventù after him.