Democratic memory and public rhetoric about the Pontine "Redemption". The case of Latina, formerly Littoria - Since their foundation the so-called «new towns» which were built in the Pontine Marshes reclaimed by the Fascist regime in the 1930s, have been the ideal setting of political liturgies aimed at celebrating the «cult of the Lictorian Fasces». The author of this article sets out to describe the process by which, during the second postwar period, people tried to create in the town of Latina (formerly Littoria) a «shared memory» and a sense of belonging to a community, which could help re-interpret in a democratic key the inheritance of the Fascist venture and the figure of Mussolini himself. Seen in this light, all ceremonies, monuments and commemorations have since been instruments through which local authorities (first Christian Democrats then rightwing) have tried to accomplish, not without ambiguities, a thorough revision of the recent past. This study retraces the different stages of the aforesaid process and investigates the connections and mutual influences between memory and public rhetoric, together with the criteria shaping the difficult and as yet uncompleted search for an identity.
Keywords: Pontine Marshes, new towns, Latina/Littoria, public rhetoric, identity building