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A popular subject among northern Italy’s singer-songwriters in the early 20th century was Simone Pianetti, the avenger from Camerata Cornello (in the Brembo valley north of Bergamo, Lombardy). On the morning of 13 July 1914, in a fit of lucid rage, Pianetti (aged 56) used his rifle to shoot and kill seven people whom he believed had unjustly treated him thus ruining his life. Among them were figures of power in the village, including the town clerk, the parson and the doctor. Soon after the killings, Pianetti fled to the Alps. Due to the beginning of World War I, he was never arrested and his body was never found.
After more than 100 years, in his area his figure is still controversial and for many his story embodies a positive example of revolt against authorities, while he personifies an anti-establishment political symbol – notably for anarchist circles in Italy and in the United States.
Presented by Michelangelo Corsaro