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Giacomo Scotti nel suo studio (Credits: Riccardo Venturi)

Giacomo Scotti

Giacomo Scotti was born in Saviano, in the province of Naples, in 1928.

As a boy, he became one of the “Reds” as a member of the Youth of the PSUP, the Italian Socialist Party of Proletarian Unity.

In 1945, while still living at home, wounded by fascism and feeling a sense of antagonism towards the British and Americans, he showed up at the RAF air base wearing a pin with the words “I am a communist” written on it. This was when he hatched the idea of migrating to Yugoslavia.

At the age of seventeen, he set off with the idea of joining the partisan groups of Marcos in Greece: he had a contact who was supposed to help him cross the border but, in actual fact, he was an informer for the secret service of the GMA, the military government of the Free Territory of Trieste. They stopped and arrested him.

He was released from prison and taken in by some communist families who agreed to help him, on condition that he go to Yugoslavia and not to Greece. It was there that he met the so-called “counter-exodus” for the first time: Italians migrating from Italy to socialist Yugoslavia, some because of their political beliefs, others in search of a better job.

Before leaving, with his friend, Vittorio Zotting, he did some “agitation and propaganda” rounds of the taverns of Monfalcone and Isontino, distributing leaflets and throwing stones.

In October 1947, just two months before his 19th birthday, he left for Yugoslavia, convinced that everyone there was a communist and with the hope that it was a new and fair world and that he too would help build it.


Story collected in collaboration with Lorenzo Colantoni as part of the 'Italians of Europe - Italians of the East' project carried out with the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.


  1. 1928

    Giacomo Scotti was born in Saviano, in the province of Naples.

  2. 1945

    He hatched the idea of migrating to Yugoslavia.

  3. 1947

    He left for Yugoslavia.

Giacomo Scotti in his book shop (Credits: Riccardo Venturi)