Neighbours Sing To Nazi Resistance Vet On 92nd Bday

Story ByAna LacasaSub EditorJoseph GolderAgencyNewsflash


This is the moment Italian neighbours sing the classic ‘Bella Ciao’ to honour a veteran of the Italian resistance against the Nazis on his 92nd birthday in coronavirus lockdown.

The heartwarming scenes were recorded on Prione Street in the city of La Spezia, in the northwestern Italian region of Liguria as veteran Umberto Bellavigna was celebrating his birthday in coronavirus lockdown.

In the video, the war hero can be seen standing on the balcony surrounded by Italian flags as his neighbours serenade him with songs including the popular anthem ‘Bella Ciao’ and the Italian national anthem.

A pair of police scooters sound their sirens as neighbours sing from their balconies.

‘Bella Ciao’ was adopted as an anthem by anti-fascist resistance fighters between 1943 and 1945 in Italy and has been used in resistance movements around the world since.

Local media report Bellavigna joined the ‘partigiano’ resistance movement against fascism and Nazis in World War II at the age of 16 in the area of Pontremoli.

He reportedly witnessed the murder of ‘Facio’, a fellow resistance fighter and was part of the ‘Matteotti-Picelli’ battalion which fought in the last battle against Nazis with other resistance groups on 23rd and 24th April 1945 before liberating the city.

The birthday celebrations took place some days after the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Italy.

According to the latest figures from the Johns Hopkins University, Italy has registered 183,957 cases of COVID-19, and 24,648 deaths.

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