Cesare Battisti Ernesta Bittanti Battisti
Cesare Battisti Ernesta Bittanti Battisti

Cesare Battisti

Cesare Battisti, a Trentino geographer, journalist, social politician and irredentist, now rests in a mausoleum above Trento

Cesare Battisti was born on February 4, 1875 in Trento, then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. As an Italian irredentist, he dedicated his life to nationalist ideology and the aim of detaching Trentino from Austria-Hungary and annexing it to Italy after the unification of Italy in 1861. In this way, the Trentino would also be administratively autonomous.

In 1898 he graduated from the Faculty of Literature in Florence with a major thesis on Trentino geography. Afterwards, he dedicated himself to geographical and natural science studies and published several volumes about the Trentino area. From a young age, Cesare Battisti was also politically active, especially as a socialist and irredentist. In 1911 he became a member of the Viennese Parliament and from then on fought for the administrative autonomy of the Trentino and for an Italian university in Trieste, at that time the most important trading port of the Habsburg Monarchy.

As director of the socialist newspapers in Trento, he supported the entry of the Italian Kingdom into the First World War in 1914. Then, in 1915, when the entry into the war took place, Battisti signed up as a volunteer for the Alpine Corps. He was captured by the Austro-Hungarian Imperial Militia and executed as a traitor in the Castello del Buonconsiglio in Trento on July 12, 1916.

Cesare Batttisti is today considered a national hero and one of the most important figures of the emerging Italian irredentism. For his services on the battlefield and his heroism, he was awarded the Medaglia d'Oro al Valor Militare (Golden Order of Military Merit).

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