In a broader perspective of understanding the fascist sport, the article aims to analyse its dynamics in the context of the city of Bologna during the Ventennio. We will see how Bologna tried to establish itself as the Italian “Capital of sport”, thanks mainly to the reorganizational and creative efforts of the hierarch Leandro Arpinati. In order to do this, we will look at articles published in «Il Comune di Bologna» (1924-1939), the Municipal magazine of the city. The analysis of Bolognese events will show how the sporting fortunes of the city were closely linked to the political fortunes of Arpinati, who implemented and maximized the dynamics of national sport in Emilia. In fact, he was able to both live by the spectacularization advocated by the Regime thanks to a monumental arena such as the "Littoriale" - with Bologna FC as its main mascot – as well as pursue the massifying aims of the dictatorship by constantly involving schools and local groups in educational physical activities. Finally, the creation of the Institute for Sports Medicine satisfied the Fascists’ desire to provide sport with a medical legitimacy according to “hygienist” doctrines. Lastly, it will be seen how the interest of the mayors of Bologna in sporting activities both diminished and changed after 1933, the year of Arpinati's fall from grace. The aim of this paper is to outline Fascism’s attempt to make Bologna not only "la Dotta" (“the Learned”) but also "la Sportiva", an attempt which only partially succeeded under Arpinati's influence.
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Copyright (c) 2023 Pierfrancesco Trocchi