Teresa Mattei

Italian Communist Party Lari, Tuscany Stalinism
Teresa Mattei in 1946

Teresa Mattei, also known as Teresita (1 February 1921 – 12 March 2013) was an Italian partisan and politician.


Born in Genoa, in 1938 Mattei was expelled from all schools of the Kingdom of Italy for openly criticizing in her classroom the Racial laws.[1][2] Graduating in philosophy at the University of Florence in 1944,[3] she joined the partisans under the nom de guerre of Partigiana Chicchi.[1][4] She took part in the murder of philosopher and Fascist minister Giovanni Gentile.[5][6]

After the war, Mattei was a candidate for the Communist Party to the Constituent Assembly, in which she served as a bureau secretary. Mattei was the youngest to be elected to the Constituent Assembly and was thus called "the girl of Montecitorio".[1][4]

She married Bruno Sanguinetti, with whom she had a son, writer Gianfranco Sanguinetti.


In 1957 Mattei was expelled from the Italian Communist Party because of her opposition to Stalinism and to the Togliatti politics.[4] She later became national director of the Italian Women Union [it] (UDI) and introduced the use of mimosa for the Women's Day[1] at the request of Luigi Longo.[7] Mattei felt that the French symbols of IWD, violets and lilies of the valley, were too scarce and expensive to be used in poor, rural Italian areas, so she proposed the mimosa as an alternative.[4][8][7]

She died in Lari, Tuscany, aged 92,[7] the last living female member of the Constituent Assembly of Italy.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e Redazione Il Fatto Quotidiano (12 March 2013). "Addio a Teresa Mattei, era l'ultima donna rimasta tra le elette alla Costituente". Il Fatto (in Italian). Retrieved 30 March 2013.
  2. ^ Gabrielli, Patrizia. Il 1946, le donne, la Repubblica (in Italian). Donzelli Editore, 2009. ISBN 886036440X.
  3. ^ Magi, Lucía (26 March 2013). "Teresa Mattei, símbolo de la resistencia al fascismo". El País (in Spanish). Retrieved 30 March 2013.
  4. ^ a b c d Pacini, Patrizia. La costituente: storia di Teresa Mattei (in Italian). Altreconomia, 2011. ISBN 8865160411.
  5. ^ Paoletti, Paolo. Il delitto Gentile (in Italian). Le Lettere, 2005. ISBN 8871668944.
  6. ^ Carioti, Antonio (6 August 2004). "«Sanguinetti venne a dirmi che Gentile doveva morire»". Corriere della Sera (in Italian). Retrieved 30 March 2013.
  7. ^ a b c Pirro, Dierdre (25 March 2013). "Teresa Mattei, Flower power". The Florentine. Retrieved 1 April 2013.
  8. ^ Fantone, Laura; Franciosi, Ippolita (2005). (R)Esistenze: il passaggio della staffetta (in Italian). Morgana. ISBN 8889033312.