– By Elisabetta Colagrossi

This article delves into the global influence of Gandhian social movements through the lens of the work of the Italian philosopher and political activist Aldo Capitini (1899–1968). Capitini’s adoption and adaptation of Gandhi’s principles such as Satyagraha and nonviolence, highlights how these ideas were crucial in shaping Italian social and political activism in the 20th century. Capitini viewed nonviolence as a means for both political and spiritual reform, criticizing pacifism as mere passive resistence. One of the most famous practical applications of Satyagraha in Capitini’s activism was his organization of the Perugia-Assisi Peace March in 1961, which brought together thousands of people from different parts of Italy. In addition to this significant event, he detailed various individual and collective nonviolent techniques in his writings. Capitini’s commitment extended beyond nonviolent practice, encompassing the establishment of cultural centers, and prolific public writing. He indeed recognized the need to create a theoretical framework to educate people about nonviolence, continuing along the path laid out by Gandhi.

Gandhian italian social movements – Aldo Capitini – nonviolence – satyagraha