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Associazione Italo-Americana

October 6, 2014 - 18:30 Auditorium - Contemporary Mediterranean History and Institutions Series

and of the Patrick McCarthy Memorial Series on Intellectuals and Politics Supported by the Patrick McCarthy Fund

Quando C'era Berlinguer
Walter Veltroni, Italian Writer, Journalist and Politician. Former Leader of the Democratic Party and Former Mayor of Rome, Italy

hosted by Professor Mark Gilbert

In Italian with Simultaneous Translation in English

To fully understand the politics and institutions of Italy during the 1970s and early 1980s one must comprehend the fundamental role played by Enrico Berlinguer, leader of the Italian Communist Party from 1972 up until his death in 1984. Together with Santiago Carrillo, one of the protagonists of Spain's transition to democracy, Berlinguer was a strong supporter of Eurocommunism and the move away from the control of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. He also supported a rapprochement with the more moderate parts of Italian society especially the Catholics. One of the greatest experts of the life and work of Berlinguer is Walter Veltroni who himself played a pivotal role in Italian politics from the late 1990s up until the new millennium in his role as Deputy Prime Minister in the center-left Prodi Cabinet between 1996 and 1998, Mayor of Rome from 2001 to 2008 and founder of the Democratic Party in 2007.

There is no better way to inaugurate our seminar series on Contemporary Mediterranean History and Institutions than having one of the protagonists of Italy's Second Republic telling us about a central character of the First Republic and also providing his thoughts on the current situation in Italy which some commentators believe is entering into a Third Republic.


Walter Veltroni (born 3 July 1955) is an Italian writer, journalist and politician, who served as the first leader of the Democratic Party within the center-left opposition, until his resignation in February 2009. Veltroni played a leading role in the creation of the Social Democratic Party. From 1992 to 1996, he served as editor-in-chief of L'Unità, the newspaper of the Democratic Party of the Left. Veltroni was then elected as vice-premier, with Romano Prodi, in the 1996 national election. He served as Minister for Cultural Assets and Activities from 1996 to 1998, allowing Italy to re-conquer the title of "Nation of the Arts". In 1999, he was elected to the European Parliament as a member of the Committee for Culture and Education. Two years later, in May 2001, Veltroni won the election for Mayor of Rome and was re-elected in 2006, capturing 61.4% of the votes. In October 2007, he was voted the first leader of the newly-founded Democratic Party, winning an open primary with 75.8% of the votes. After his resignation in 2009, he joined the parliamentary anti-mafia committee. Although Veltroni is no longer serving in an official political position, he continues to promote politics as an important part of the cultural heritage. In 2014, he produced "Quando C'era Berlinguer", a documentary about the former leader of the Italian Communist Party.

Veltroni Invitation.pdf
Veltroni Berlinguer Film Presentation.pdf

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