Donatella Galli, from Desio, near Milan has been summoned to court in Monza after sparking a furore in 2012 when she wrote: “Forza Vesuvio, Forza Etna, Forza Marsili” (Go Vesuvius, Go Etna, Go Marsili) alongside a satellite map of Italy featuring only the northern regions.
She was allegedly cheering on three of Italy’s famous volcanoes – Vesuvius, which destroyed Pompeii in 79AD; Marsili, also in Campania and Sicily’s Etna, Europe’s largest active volcano, to wipe out central and southern Italy.
The comment was quickly removed but Galli later defended her actions, saying, “To me, southerners are like the Jews were to Hitler, and should be placed in ovens.”
Angelo Pisani, a Naples based-lawyer and the president of the city’s eighth council, told The Local he pursued legal action on behalf of “the citizens of Naples and the entire south.”
"We want to send a strong signal to make everyone understand that the dignity of Italian citizens, whether northern or southern, must be respected,” he said.
The trial gets underway at a court in Monza on October 15th, when Galli will face charges of “territorial discrimination” due to “propagating ideas based on racial or ethnic superiority of Italy’s north compared to the south”.
Whatever the outcome of the case, Pisani said he hopes it will prove to be “an important barrier” against “violence, including racial slurs, which poisons Italian sport, the web and civil society”.
He has called on Galli to be fined for the slurs against southerners, with the money “going to benefit society".