Comune di Affile
Coat of arms of Affile
Location of Affile
Affile is located in Italy
Location of Affile in Italy
Affile is located in Lazio
Affile (Lazio)
Coordinates: 41°53′3″N 13°5′49″E / 41.88417°N 13.09694°E / 41.88417; 13.09694
Metropolitan cityRome (RM)
 • MayorErcole Viri
 • Total15.11 km2 (5.83 sq mi)
684 m (2,244 ft)
 (30 April 2017)[2]
 • Total1,506
 • Density100/km2 (260/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
Dialing code0774
Patron saintSanta Felicita
WebsiteOfficial website

Affile (Latin: Afilae)[3] is a comune (municipality) in the Metropolitan City of Rome in the Italian region of Lazio, located about 50 kilometres (31 mi) east of Rome.


Archaeology has shown the existence of a pre-Roman centre here, on the border of the lands of the Hernici and the Aequi. In the 1st century AD it is mentioned as oppidum Afile by Frontinus. It was crossed by the Via Sublacense.

In the 10th century a village existed in the former Roman oppidum, centred on the church of St. Peter. In 1013 a castle (castrum) is cited in Affile, which in 1109 was ceded by Pope Paschal II to the Abbey of St. Scholastica of Subiaco. Later it was a possession of the Altieri and Braschi families.

Main sights

Graziani monument

On 11 August 2012 a publicly funded mausoleum and memorial park was unveiled in the town to Rodolfo Graziani, a former resident of the area and convicted war criminal. The event was met with widespread criticism in the national and international media. A campaign has since been launched to rededicate the memorial to those who died as a result of Graziani’s actions during Italy’s colonial wars in Ethiopia and Libya as well as during the short-lived Italian Social Republic.

The New York Times described the monument as being in "a style reminiscent of fascist architecture".[4] It was built on Affile's highest hill and bears the inscriptions “Honour” and “Homeland”. Inside is a marble bust of Graziani, a list of his deeds, and original 1955 newspapers from the day he died.[4] The mausoleum was reported to cost Euro 127,000,[5] paid for by taxpayers from regional funds. The town’s mayor, Ercole Viri, donated the bust from his own collection[4] and said he hoped the sight would be as “famous and as popular as Predappio” – the burial place of Mussolini which has become a shrine for neo-Fascists.[6] He later defended the council’s decision by stating that “Graziani was not a war criminal”[7]

However, demonstrations against the memorial were quickly organised. On 12 September the monument was damaged and covered in graffiti.[8] The monument has also been denounced in Ethiopia. Speaking after the 18th International Conference of Ethiopian Studies, historian Bahru Zewde said: "“He [Graziani] is remembered for vowing to deliver Ethiopia to Mussolini “with or without the Ethiopians”. He went on to fulfill that vow with indiscriminate use of chemical weapons and the massacre of thousands of Ethiopians. Graziani was never tried for his war crimes in Africa. Had he been alive, there is no doubt that he would have been forced to face justice at the International Criminal Court. The erection with public funds of a monument for someone who has the blood of so many Africans on his hands is therefore adding insult to injury."[9]

In 2017, Mayor Ercole Viri and two other town councillors were convicted of "fascism apology", a crime in Italy, for building the monument. Viri was sentenced to eight months' imprisonment and the two councillors were sentenced to six months each.[10][11] The court did not, however, order the removal of the monument which remains in place albeit vandalized and in a state of disrepair.[10]


  1. ^ "Superficie di Comuni Province e Regioni italiane al 9 ottobre 2011". Italian National Institute of Statistics. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  2. ^ All demographics and other statistics: Italian statistical institute Istat.
  3. ^ Richard Talbert, Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World, (ISBN 0-691-03169-X), Map 43 & notes.
  4. ^ a b c Pianigiani, Gaia (28 August 2012). "Village's Tribute Reignites a Debate About Italy's Fascist Past". The New York times. Retrieved 7 January 2024.
  5. ^ "Italy memorial to Fascist hero Graziani sparks row", "BBC", 15 August 2012
  6. ^ Nick Pisa, "Italian town's memorial to Fascist leader sparks row", "The Telegraph", 15 August 2012
  7. ^ Josephine McKenna, "Mayor defends monument to fascist leader convicted of war crimes", "The Telegraph", 2 September 2012
  8. ^ "Affile, chiuso il sacrario di Graziani per ripulirlo E domenica la protesta in piazza degli antifascisti", "La Republica", 22 September 2012
  9. ^ "Scholars denounce Graziani mausoleum", "The Reporter", 1 December 2012
  10. ^ a b Phelan, Jessica (8 November 2017). "Italian mayor, councillors jailed over monument to fascist general". The Local (Italy). Retrieved 7 January 2024.
  11. ^ "Mayor, two councillors convicted for apology of Fascism". ANSA. 7 November 2024. Retrieved 7 January 2024.