Public and Private Spaces in Modern Italian Culture
PART IV. SITES OF MEMORY: PUBLIC SPACES AND PRIVATE LIVES
PART IV SITES OF MEMORY: PUBLIC PLACES AND PRIVATE LIVES 199 CHAPTER 11 Sites of Memory? The Superga Disaster and the Myth of Il Grande Torino John FOOT University College London Introduction: Turin and Soccer Turin has two soccer teams, both formed in the early twentieth cen- tury. One of these – Juventus – has become the most successful team in the history of Italian soccer, winning 28 championships (up to 2012). The other – Torino – challenged the power of Juventus on only one occasion, during the 1940s. In that period a team was built which be- came a legend, both on and off the pitch. That team was known as Il Grande Torino – the Great Torino. In May 1949 tragedy struck as a plane carrying the squad crashed into a wall on a hill above the city, at a place known as Superga. The entire squad died in the disaster. Subse- quent Torino teams have never been able to compete with the myth of Il Grande Torino. This chapter will examine the memories, the competing identities and the variety of commemorative practices that lay at the heart of the various myths constructed around that Torino team, its players and its role in post-war Italian history after the Superga crash. This research draws on a variety of sources, including newspapers, books and photo- graphs as well as an examination of the numerous sites of memory linked to the Torino team. The Team and the Crash: 4 May 1949 The Great Torino team won...
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