More than 500 women allege being sexually harassed at annual Italian military event

‘What do we think when we see a good-looking girl? We’re men,’ says one official defending the veterans

Sofia Barbarani
in Rome
Monday 16 May 2022 19:21 BST
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Veterans march at this year’s Alpini gathering in Rimini
Veterans march at this year’s Alpini gathering in Rimini (Adunata Nazionale Alpini)

Italy has been rocked by a #MeToo scandal after hundreds of allegations of sexual harassment surfaced during an annual gathering of the country’s elite mountain troops, the Alpini.

More than 500 women and girls reported being harassed by veterans and serving members of the Alpini during the course of the three-day celebrations in Rimini last week, according to feminist collective Non Una di Meno, with 179 of them describing being groped, cat-called and being subjected to explicit comments in intimidating circumstances.

One anonymous waitress recounted being verbally and physically harassed by inebriated troops who she said grabbed her by the hips and kissed her cheeks. She said one man threatened to beat her if she was still in a relationship when he returned to Rimini next year.

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