Celso Ceretti

Celso Ceretti (13 January 1844 12 January 1909) was an Italian supporter of Giuseppe Garibaldi, an internationalist anarchist, and then a socialist politician.

Celso Ceretti
Celso Ceretti
Born(1844-01-13)13 January 1844
Mirandola, Emilia-Romagna, Italy
Died12 January 1909(1909-01-12) (aged 64)
Ferrara, Emilia-Romagna, Italy

Early years

Celso Ceretti was born in Mirandola, Emilia-Romagna, Italy on 23 January 1944, son of Luigi Ceretti and Maria Malagodi. His father had been imprisoned for the riots of 1831, and educated his children in democratic ideals.[1] When he was fourteen he enlisted in Garibaldi's expedition to Sicily.[2] He joined in 1859. In 1860-61 he served in Sicily and the mainland with the rank of sergeant. In 1862 he was in Aspromonte. In 1866 he became an officer of the 9th regiment, and in 1867 served in Agro Romano.[1] He became one of Garibaldi's closest followers, and later served as a link between him and the labor movement.[2]


In 1870 Cerretti joined Garibaldi's Army of the Vosges.[1] In 1871 he participated in the defense of France and of the Paris Commune. That year he founded the Anti-Catholic Republican Society in Mirandola. Ceretti was one of the founders of the Italian Section of the International Workers' Association (IWA).[2]

By 1871 Garibaldi was still respected by socialists elsewhere in Italy, but it was only in the Romagna that his leadership was seen as essential for a people's republic. At first Ceretti, Lodovico Nabruzzi and Paride Suzzara Verdi shared this view.[3] Garibaldi planned to call a democratic congress, but canceled it due to the factional squabbles. With Mikhail Bakunin's support, Nabruzzi, Ceretti, Andrea Costa and others arranged a conference in Bologna on 17 March 1872 where most of the internationalist sections of Romagna were represented.[4] The congress rejected Mazzini's view that the question of social reform could follow creation of a republic, and also voted against participating in elections, in effect moving towards Bakunin's position.[5]

On 11 March 1873 Ceretti was arrested for his IWA activities and imprisoned for five months. He was then tried for "conspiracy" and acquitted. Later that year he tried to organize a second IWA Congress in Mirandola, but this was forbidden by the authorities.[2] In 1873 he commanded a force in Spain against the Carlists. In 1874 he was assistant to Mićo Ljubibratić in Herzegovina, and in 1875 commanded the Italian Legion in Serbia with the rank of major in the struggle against Turkish rule.[1]

Later years

In 1886 Ceretti founded the Society of Radical Veterans. In 1888 he survived a knife attack in Paris. The Italian embassy accused the anti-legal anarchist Vittorio Pini of the attack because some sections of the anarchist movement thought Ceretti was a police informer. That year in Mirandola he founded the socialist periodical Il Sole dell'Avvenire (The Sun of the Future). In 1890 he was the first socialist to enter the municipal council of Mirandola.[2]

Ceretti died on 12 January 1909 in Ferrara, Emilia-Romagna, Italy.[2]



  • "Celso Ceretti", Anarcoefemèrides del 12 de gener, Estel Negre, 12 January 2013, retrieved 2013-09-05
  • Masini, Pier Carlo (1979). "CERETTI, Celso". Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani (in Italian). 23. Retrieved 2013-09-05.
  • Ravindranathan, T. R. (October 1981), "The Paris Commune and the First International in Italy: Republicanism versus Socialism, 1871-1872", The International History Review, Taylor & Francis, Ltd., 3 (4), JSTOR 40105174
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