A day of horror in a holiday paradise: a flash mob party and its consequences. Peschiera del Garda is still suffering from the day when 1500 children and teenagers paraded through their little town for hours. The police are investigating.
10,000 people live in Peschiera del Garda. An ideal holiday resort for those who like it rather quiet and idyllic. A pretty old town with fortress and canals, south-eastern shore of Lake Garda. Long beaches, spacious campsites.
There are sometimes problems on the beach. The freely accessible beach shore is close to the railway station. Young people have often travelled to the beach for "wild" beach parties - so far on a manageable scale.
On "Republic Day", the second of June, things will be different. Thousands come to the small town. It ends in violence and chaos.
The events from the beginning:
Calls at Tiktok
It all starts with calls via Tiktok. On Republic Day, a spontaneous flash mob party is to take place in the town of Peschiera del Garda - a "trap" party. This style of music is a kind of fast hip hop.
More than 1500 young people follow the public "party invitation". Some media report more than 2000 young people. The station tracks are already crowded in Verona and Milan.
"You went to Peschiera on the 2nd to have fun - and you find yourself in this mess".Tiktok user Haidaragouem
The young people who arrive are between 12 and 20 years old, many of them almost still children. Trap is their music. More than three quarters are estimated to be male, the majority with a migration background.
The teenagers gather on the beach and the lakeshore. Some swim, some sunbathe, music. Harmless dance competitions.
In between, the "normal" holidaymakers who don't let the teenagers drive them away from their sunbeds and towels. Visibly surprised by the mass of young people.
Peschiera is not a party place. Not much happens at first. Then attempts by so-called "baby gangs" to steal from other holidaymakers. Vandalism of cars.
The party day on Tiktok
A dance competition: "The "saveable" part of the day" writes a gal
Escalation of violence
Media report that some young men are said to drink excessively. There are half a dozen supermarkets on the way from the station to the beach. The young people are said to have stocked up here. This mass of boisterous teenagers seems out of place in the village.
On the freely accessible lake beach between Peschiera and Castelnuovo del Garda, a mass brawl breaks out among youths after accusations of theft and quarrels.
The brawl spreads. Some teenagers pull knives. Cars are broken, shop windows and shop displays, restaurant tables and chairs.
The police use massive batons and start clearing the shore. The police drive the youths through the village in front of them. A cat-and-mouse game begins. Drivers are stuck in the crowd. Some young people climb over the cars, jump on them, mob tourists, physical assaults. Total chaos.
The majority of the underage crowd runs along - many filming with their mobile phones. The hashtag #PeschieradelGarda now has more than 20 (!) million views on Tiktok.
"Day of War
The mayor later spoke of a "day of war" on Lake Garda and blamed the authorities. Although they had known about the call for a party, they had not been adequately prepared.
According to media reports, more than 15 women and girls later file sexual harassment charges. Among them are six underage girls who are later sexually harassed on the train. They were on their way back from an amusement park when a group of young men forced their way into their compartment. In their case, the police have identified 30 suspects.
Public Protests: "We Defend Our Earth"
In the following days, the locals protest against the violent excesses in their village. Over Whitsun, the use of glass bottles and jukeboxes is banned on the affected stretch of shore. Via Tiktok, some announce a party repeat in Riccione. The Adriatic resort arms itself, in fact no one comes.
The police are currently also analysing the videos on social media. Some underage party guests filmed themselves in action.
While the situation on Lake Garda is calming down, articles about the horror day on Lake Garda are now spreading in the other European media.
In Italy, a heated discussion about integration is currently taking place.
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Sources:; FAZ.de: "Italy debates failed integration"; various articles in Corriere della Sera, euronews.com: "First Lake Garda, Now Riccione" Controversy over TikTok Flashmob with Riot of 2 Juni". Krone.at: "1500 youths - assaults, violence. Horrortag am Gardasee"; Südtirolnews.it "Youth party" at the southern part of Lake Garda ends in chaos - VIDEO - beatings, stabbings, vandalism and sexual violence
Cover image/montage - Tiktok screenshots; Photo: Slawomir Kruz/500px/Getty Images via canva.com