Galeazzo Ciano

Gian Galeazzo Ciano, 2nd Count of Cortellazzo and Buccari (pronounced [ɡale'attso ˈtʃaːno]; 18 March 1903 – 11 January 1944) was Foreign Minister of Fascist Italy from 1936 until 1943 and Benito Mussolini's son-in-law. On 11 January 1944, Count Ciano was shot by firing squad at the behest of his father-in-law, Mussolini, under pressure from Nazi Germany.[1] Ciano wrote and left behind a diary[2] that has been used as a source by several historians, including William Shirer in his The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich and in the four-hour HBO documentary-drama Mussolini and I.

Galeazzo Ciano
Galeazzo Ciano (-1939)
Ciano in 1939, as Foreign Minister.
Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
9 June 1936 – 6 February 1943
DuceBenito Mussolini
Preceded byBenito Mussolini
Succeeded byBenito Mussolini
Minister of Press and Propaganda
In office
23 June 1935 – 5 September 1935
DuceBenito Mussolini
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byDino Alfieri
Undersecretary for Press and Propaganda
In office
6 September 1934 – 26 June 1935
DuceBenito Mussolini
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byPosition abolished
Head of the Government Press Office
In office
August 1933 – 4 September 1934
DuceBenito Mussolini
Preceded byGaetano Polverelli
Succeeded byPosition abolished
Personal details
Gian Galeazzo Ciano

18 March 1903
Livorno, Tuscany, Italy
Died11 January 1944 (aged 40)
Verona, Italian Social Republic
Cause of deathExecuted by firing squad
Political partyNational Fascist Party (PNF)
Edda Mussolini (m. 1930)
ParentsCostanzo Ciano (father)
Carolina Pini (mother)
  • Diplomat
  • politician

Early life

Gian Galeazzo Ciano was born in Livorno, Italy, in 1903. He was the son of Costanzo Ciano and his wife Carolina Pini; his father was an Admiral and World War I hero in the Royal Italian Navy (for which service he was given the aristocratic title of Count by Victor Emmanuel III). The elder Ciano, nicknamed Ganascia ("The Jaw"), was a founding member of the National Fascist Party and re-organizer of the Italian merchant navy in the 1920s. Costanzo Ciano was not above extracting private profit from his public office. He would use his influence to depress the stock of a company, after which he would buy a controlling interest, then increase his wealth after its value rebounded. Among other holdings, Costanzo Ciano owned a newspaper, farmland in Tuscany and other properties worth huge sums of money. As a result, his son Galeazzo was accustomed to living a high-profile and glamorous life, which he maintained almost until the end of his life. Father and son both took part in Mussolini's 1922 March on Rome.

After studying Philosophy of Law at the University of Rome, Galeazzo Ciano worked briefly as a journalist before choosing a diplomatic career; soon, he served as an attaché in Rio de Janeiro.

On 24 April 1930, when he was 27 years old, he married Benito Mussolini's daughter Edda Mussolini, and they had three children (Fabrizio, Raimonda, and Marzio), though he was known to have had several affairs while married. Soon after their marriage, Ciano left for Shanghai to serve as Italian consul. On his return to Italy in 1935, he became the minister of press and propaganda in the government of his father-in-law.

Foreign Minister

Ciano volunteered for action in the Italian invasion of Ethiopia (1935–36) as a bomber squadron commander. He received two silver medals of valor and reached the rank of captain. His future opponent Alessandro Pavolini served in the same squadron as a lieutenant. Upon his highly trumpeted return from the war as a "hero" in 1936, he was appointed by Mussolini as replacement Foreign Minister. Ciano began to keep a diary a short time after his appointment and kept it active up to his 1943 dismissal as foreign minister. In 1937, he was allegedly involved in planning the murder of the brothers Carlo and Nello Rosselli, two exiled anti-fascist activists killed in the French spa town of Bagnoles-de-l'Orne on 9 June. Also in 1937, prior to the Italian annexation in 1939, Count Gian Galeazzo Ciano was named an Honorary Citizen of Tirana, Albania.[3]

Ciano arriving in Albania on April 1939
Ciano arriving in Albania in April 1939.

Before World War II, Mussolini may have been preparing Ciano to succeed him as Duce.[4] At the start of the war in 1939, Ciano did not agree with Mussolini's plans and knew that Italy's armed forces were ill-prepared for a major war. When Mussolini formally declared war on France in 1940, he wrote in his diary, "I am sad, very sad. The adventure begins. May God help Italy!" After 1939, Ciano became increasingly disenchanted with Nazi Germany and the course of World War II, although when the Italian regime embarked on an ill-advised "parallel war" alongside Germany, he went along, despite the terribly-executed Italian invasion of Greece and its subsequent setbacks. Prior to the German campaign in France in 1940, Count Ciano leaked a warning of imminent invasion to neutral Belgium.

In late 1942 and early 1943, following the Axis defeat in North Africa, other major setbacks on the Eastern Front, and with an Anglo-American assault on Sicily looming, Ciano turned against the doomed war and actively pushed for Italy's exit from the conflict. He was silenced by being removed from his post as foreign minister. The rest of the cabinet was removed as well on 5 February 1943. He was offered the post of ambassador to the Holy See, and presented his credentials to Pope Pius XII on 1 March.[5] In this role he remained in Rome, watched closely by Mussolini. The regime's position had become even more unstable by the coming summer, however, and court circles were already probing the Allied commands for some sort of agreement.

Bundesarchiv Bild 183-R69173, Münchener Abkommen, Staatschefs
Ciano (far right) standing alongside (right to left) Benito Mussolini, Adolf Hitler, Édouard Daladier, and Neville Chamberlain prior to the signing of the Munich Agreement.

On the afternoon of 24 July 1943, Mussolini summoned the Fascist Grand Council to its first meeting since 1939, prompted by the Allied invasion of Sicily. At that meeting, Mussolini announced that the Germans were thinking of evacuating the south. This led Count Dino Grandi to launch a blistering attack on his longtime comrade. Grandi put on the table a resolution asking King Victor Emmanuel III to resume his full constitutional powers – in effect, a vote leading to Mussolini's ousting from leadership. The motion won by an unexpectedly large margin, 19-8, with Ciano voting in favor. Mussolini's replacement was Pietro Badoglio, an Italian general in both World Wars.

Mussolini did not think that the vote had any real value, and showed up at work the next morning like any other day. That afternoon, the king summoned him to Villa Savoia and dismissed him from office. Upon leaving the villa, Mussolini was arrested. For the next two months he was moved from place to place to hide him and prevent his rescue by the Germans. Ultimately, Mussolini was sent to Gran Sasso, a mountain resort in Abruzzo. He was kept in complete isolation until rescued by German paratroopers on 12 September 1943. Mussolini then set up a puppet government in the area of northern Italy still under German occupation called the Italian Social Republic.


Processo Verona 1944
Ciano trial in Verona, 1944.

Ciano was dismissed from his post by the new government of Italy put in place after his father-in-law was overthrown. Ciano, Edda and their three children fled to Germany on 28 August 1943, in fear of being arrested by the new Italian government, but the Germans turned him over to Mussolini's administration. He was then formally arrested on charges of treason. Under German and Fascist pressure, Mussolini had Ciano imprisoned before he was tried and found guilty. After the Verona trial and sentence, on 11 January 1944, Ciano was executed by a firing squad along with 4 others (Emilio De Bono, Luciano Gottardi, Giovanni Marinelli and Carlo Pareschi) who had voted for Mussolini's ousting. As a further humiliation, the condemned men were tied to chairs and shot in the back, though according to some accounts, Ciano managed to twist his chair around at the last minute to face the firing squad before uttering his final words, "Long live Italy!"[6]

Ciano is remembered for his Diaries 1937–1943, a revealing daily record of his meetings with Mussolini, Hitler, Ribbentrop, foreign ambassadors and other political figures, which later proved embarrassing to the Nazi leadership and the fascist diehards. Edda tried to barter his papers to the Germans in return for his life; Gestapo agents helped her confidant Emilio Pucci rescue some of them from Rome. Pucci was then a lieutenant in the Italian Air Force, but would find fame after the war as a fashion designer. When Hitler vetoed the plan, she hid the bulk of the papers at a clinic in Ramiola, near Medesano and on 9 January 1944, Pucci helped Edda escape to Switzerland with five diaries covering the war years.[7] The diary was first published in English in London in 1946, edited by Malcolm Muggeridge, covering 1939 to 1943. The complete English version was published in 2002.


Gian Galeazzo and Edda Ciano had three offspring:

  • Oldest child, Fabrizio Ciano, 3º Conte di Cortellazzo e Buccari (Shanghai, 1 October 1931 – San José, Costa Rica, 8 April 2008), married to Beatriz Uzcategui Jahn, without issue. Wrote a personal memoir entitled Quando il nonno fece fucilare papà ("When Grandpa had Daddy Shot").
  • Middle child, Raimonda Ciano (Rome, 12 December 1933 – Rome, 24 May 1998), married to Nobile Alessandro Giunta (1929 -), son of Nobile Francesco Giunta (Piero, 1887–1971) and wife (m. Rome, 1924) Zenaida del Gallo Marchesa di Roccagiovine (Rome, 1902 – São Paulo, Brazil, 1988)
  • Youngest child, Marzio Ciano, (Rome, 18 December 1937 – 11 April 1974), married Gloria Lucchesi

In popular culture

  • A number of films have depicted Ciano's life, including The Verona Trial (1962) by Carlo Lizzani, where he is played by Frank Wolff and Mussolini and I (1985) in which he was played by Anthony Hopkins.
  • Raúl Juliá played Ciano in the 1985 television mini-series, Mussolini: The Untold Story.
  • In Serbia there is proverb : "Living like Count Ciano" – describing a flamboyant and luxurious life (Živi ko grof Ćano/Живи ко гроф Ћано)
  • Ciano's diaries were published in 1946 and were used by the prosecution against Hitler's Foreign Minister, Joachim von Ribbentrop, during the post-war Nuremberg Trials.
  • Curzio Malaparte - "Kaputt": After he wrote 'The Technique of Coup d'État', Malaparte was jailed by the Fascist regime. He was freed on the personal intervention of Count Galeazzo Ciano. In 'Kaputt' Malaparte refers to Count Ciano and his wife Edda. Like Edda Ciano, Malaparte spent time in forced exile on the island of Lipari.



  1. ^ Moseley, Ray (2004). Mussolini : the last 600 days of il Duce (1. ed.). Dallas: Taylor Trade Publ. p. 79. ISBN 1589790952.
  2. ^ Ciano, Galeazzo (2002). Diary, 1937-1943 (1st complete and unabridged English ed.). New York: Enigma Books. ISBN 1929631022.
  3. ^ Municipality of Tirana website Archived 12 October 2011 at the Wayback Machine,; accessed 5 January 2016.
  4. ^ Gunther, John (1940). Inside Europe. New York: Harper & Brothers. pp. 257–258.
  5. ^ Pius XII speech at the presentation of credentials (in Italian)
  6. ^ "Mussolini's Daughter’s Affair with Communist Revealed in Love Letters". The Telegraph, 17 April 2009; retrieved 20 January 2010.
  7. ^ McGaw Smyth, Howard (1969). "The Ciano Papers: Rose Garden". Central Intelligence Agency. Retrieved 23 April 2008.


  • Galeazzo Ciano, Ciano's Diary, 1939–1943, edited and with an introduction by Malcolm Muggeridge, foreword by Sumner Welles, translated by V. Umberto Coletti-Perucca, London and Toronto: William Heinemann Ltd., (1947).
  • Ciano's diplomatic papers: being a record of nearly 200 conversations held during the years 1936–42 with Hitler, Mussolini, Franco; together with important memoranda, letters, telegrams etc. / edited by Malcolm Muggeridge; translated by Stuart Hood, London: Odhams Press, (1948).
  • Galeazzo Ciano, Diary 1937–1943, Preface by Renzo De Felice (Professor of History University of Rome) and original introduction by Sumner Welles (U.S. Under Secretary of State 1937–1943), translated by Robert L. Miller (Enigma Books, 2002), ISBN 1-929631-02-2
  • The Ciano Diaries 1939–1943: The Complete, Unabridged Diaries of Count Galeazzo Ciano, Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs, 1936–1943 (2000) ISBN 1-931313-74-1
  • Giordano Bruno Guerri – Un amore fascista. Benito, Edda e Galeazzo. (Mondadori, 2005) ISBN 88-04-53467-2
  • Чиано Галеаццо, Дневник фашиста. 1939–1943, (Москва: Издательство "Плацъ", Серия "Первоисточники новейшей истории", 2010, 676 стр.) ISBN 978-5-903514-02-1
  • Ray Moseley – Mussolini's Shadow: The Double Life of Count Galeazzo Ciano, (Yale University Press, 1999) ISBN 0-300-07917-6
  • R.J.B. Bosworth – Mussolini (Hodder Arnold, 2002) ISBN 0-340-73144-3
  • Michael Salter and Lorie Charlesworth – "Ribbentrop and the Ciano Diaries at the Nuremberg Trial" in Journal of International Criminal Justice 2006 4(1):103–127 doi:10.1093/jicj/mqi095
  • Fabrizio Ciano – Quando il nonno fece fucilare papà ("When Grandpa had Daddy Shot"). Milano: Mondadori, 1991.
  • "Galeazzo Ciano’s Last Reflections before Execution." World War II Today RSS. Accessed 25 March 2015.
  • "Galeazzo Ciano – a Summary – History in an Hour." History in an Hour. 10 January 2014. Accessed 25 March 2015.
  • "Gian Galeazzo Ciano – Comando Supremo." Comando Supremo. 14 February 2010. Accessed 25 March 2015.
  • "The Ciano Papers: Rose Garden." Central Intelligence Agency. 4 August 2011. Accessed 25 March 2015.

External links

Italian nobility
Preceded by
Costanzo Ciano
Count of Cortellazzo and Buccari
Succeeded by
Fabrizio Ciano
Government offices
Preceded by
Gaetano Polverelli
Head of the Government Press Office
Succeeded by
None (Office abolished)
Himself as
Undersecretary for Press and Propaganda
Preceded by
None (Office established)
Undersecretary for Press and Propaganda
Succeeded by
None (Office abolished)
Himself as
Minister for Press and Propaganda
Preceded by
None (Office established)
Minister of Press and Propaganda
Succeeded by
Dino Alfieri
Preceded by
Benito Mussolini
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Succeeded by
Benito Mussolini

Ciano may refer to:

Galeazzo Ciano (1903–1944), Italian foreign minister, and son-in-law of Mussolini.

Costanzo Ciano (1876–1939), Italian naval commander and politician, father of Galeazzo.

Ciano (Crocetta del Montello), a hamlet (frazione) of Crocetta del Montello, Veneto

Ciano d'Enza, a hamlet (frazione) of Canossa, Emilia-Romagna

Costanzo Ciano

Costanzo Ciano, 1st Count of Cortellazzo and Buccari (30 August 1876 – 26 June 1939) was an Italian naval officer and politician. He was the father of Galeazzo Ciano.

Edda Mussolini

Edda Mussolini (1 September 1910 – 9 April 1995) was the child of Benito Mussolini, Italy's fascist dictator from 1922 to 1943. Upon her marriage to fascist propagandist and foreign minister Galeazzo Ciano, she became Edda Ciano, Countess of Cortellazzo and Buccari. Her husband was executed in January 1944 for dissenting from Mussolini's rule. She strongly denied her involvement in the National Fascist Party regime and had an affair with a Communist after her father's execution by the Italian partisans in April 1945.

Fabrizio Ciano

Fabrizio Ciano, 3rd Count of Cortellazzo and Buccari (1 October 1931 - 4 April 2008) was the son of Count Galeazzo Ciano and his wife Edda Mussolini, and grandson of Benito Mussolini. He is the author of the memoir Quando Il Nonno Fece Fucilare Papà ("When Grandpa had Daddy Shot"). He married Beatriz Uzcategui Jahn, without issue.

Felice Chilanti

Felice Chilanti (10 December 1914 in Ceneselli – 26 February 1982 in Rome) was an Italian anti-fascist and journalist who was born to a Rovigo peasant family soon before Italy entered World War I. Chilanti moved to Rome as a teenager to study agronomy and from 1934 took up employment as a writer for the farming union’s in-house journal. He was soon drawn to the Fascist Left by Giuseppe Bottai and Edmondo Rossoni who were syndicalists who viewed Fascism as a social revolution against capitalism.Chilanti wrote an October 1939 article in Benito Mussolini's Gerarchia welcoming the Hitler-Stalin pact as heralding the future collaboration of the Soviet and Fascist régimes. During the war Chilanti became increasingly disillusioned with his government's failure to live up to its purported anti-capitalist objectives. While seeking to advance such radical policies he formed a group around the newspaper Ventuno Domani, whose collaborators included novelist Vasco Pratolini.

This 'anarcho-Fascist' circle drew the attentions of philo-Nazi American poet Ezra Pound. Chilanti and his ally, Vittorio Ambrosini, mounted one of the most militant of all Left-Fascist projects when they attempted to eliminate the foreign minister Galeazzo Ciano, whom the plotters saw as a conservative brake on the regime. Chilanti was quickly arrested and sent into internal exile [confino]. Chilanti then adopted communist politics from his Croatian cellmates.

During the Italian Resistance Chilanti was co-editor of the dissident-communist newspaper Bandiera Rossa, organ of the Movimento Comunista d'Italia, an idiosyncratic force that Chilanti labelled 'the party of Stalin who fought for Bordiga'. After liberation Chilanti joined the Italian Communist Party. He later grew disillusioned and signed up to the extra-parliamentary Avanguardia Operaia. As a result of throat cancer Chilanti was unable to speak in his final years.

Chilanti wrote numerous novels of which many were of a semi-autobiographical bent.

Filippo Anfuso

Filippo Anfuso (1 January 1901 – 13 December 1963) was an Italian writer, diplomat and Fascist politician.

Anfuso was born in Catania. His writing career started with a volume of short stories and poetry he published in 1917. Anfuso subsequently joined as a reporter with the poet Gabriele D'Annunzio in his attempt to seize Fiume for Italy (1919–1921). He returned to write for La Nazione and La Stampa, reporting from various foreign countries. A friend of Galeazzo Ciano, the two passed the exam for a career in diplomacy at the same time (in 1925).

Anfuso was appointed to the Italian Consulate in Munich (1927), then to the missions in Hungary (1929), Germany (1931), the Republic of China (1932), and Greece (1934). In 1936, Anfuso was seconded to Francisco Franco's side during the Civil War. He was decorated for merit. In 1938, after Ciano was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs, Anfuso became Ministry head of staff.

In 1942 he became Minister in charge of the Italian Legation in Budapest. In 1943, after Mussolini escaped to Northern Italy with Nazi backing, Anfuso served as a diplomat for the newly founded Italian Social Republic, representing it in Berlin. As Ambassador in Berlin, he took care of the problems related to the presence in Germany of thousands of Italian servicemen deported after the 1943 Armistice. His role in trying to protect some Jews persecuted by the Nazis was mentioned during the Eichmann trial held in Israel in 1961. In 1945, he replaced the deceased Serafino Mazzolini as undersecretary for the Republic's Foreign Affairs Ministry.

When the war ended in Italy's defeat, Anfuso made his way to France, but was soon recognized and arrested. He spent two years in prison, and after having been fully cleared by the French courts, he then exiled himself to Madrid. In 1950, he returned to Italy, going back to journalism and publishing several books. Having adhered to the Neo-fascist Italian Social Movement, he represented it in the Italian Chamber of Deputies. Anfuso died in 1963, aged 62, while speaking on the floor in the Parliament in Rome.

Greek National Socialist Party

The Greek National Socialist Party (Greek: Ελληνικό Εθνικό Σοσιαλιστικό Κόμμα, Elliniko Ethniko Sosialistiko Komma) was a National Socialist party founded in Greece in 1932 by George S. Mercouris, a former Cabinet minister.

Guido Buffarini Guidi

Guido Buffarini Guidi (17 August 1895 – 10 July 1945) was an Italian army officer and politician, executed in 1945.

Buffarini Guidi was born in Pisa.

When Italy entered World War I, he volunteered in an artillery regiment. He was promoted to rank of captain in 1917, and remained on active duty in the Italian Army until 1923 – in the meantime, he earned his bachelor's degree in law from the University of Pisa in March 1920.

After leaving the army, with the rank of lieutenant colonel, he became active in Fascist circles, and joined the National Fascist Party (PNF). A mayor of Pisa in April 1923, Buffarini Guidi headed the local Party hierarchy from 1924 (his notoriety being increased by his career as a lawyer). He rose to become honorary Consul of the MVSN Blackshirts - the voluntary militia after the March on Rome.

In May 1933 he was appointed to be Undersecretary Minister of Interior, and forged an alliance with Galeazzo Ciano - opposing the Party bureaucracy, creating several secret services, and attempting to lessen the effects of Antisemitic legislation passed by the regime. Nevertheless, (and unlike Ciano), on 25 July 1943, Buffarini Guidi voted in favor of Benito Mussolini during Dino Grandi's attempt to have the latter deposed and get Italy to sign a peace with the Allies. As reward, after Nazi Germany intervened and rescued Mussolini in September, Guido Buffarini Guidi was appointed Minister of the Interior of the new Italian Social Republic (established by Nazis in Northern Italy). Seen as extremely avaricious, he was distrusted even by most of his cabinet colleagues.

Near the end of the Republic's life, in February 1945, Mussolini dismissed Buffarini Guidi from office. After a failed attempt to escape to Switzerland, the latter was arrested by the partisans on 26 April. He was sentenced to death by an Extraordinary Court of Justice in Milan who found him guilty of war crimes, and was shot on 10 July, having tried (like French collaborator Pierre Laval) and failed to commit suicide while in captivity.

Whilst in prison, Guidi offered to reveal to the Allies compromising letters exchanged between Churchill and Mussolini during the war in exchange for his release. He was unsuccessful but coincidentally, sharing the same cell with Guidi was the industrialist Guido Donegani.

Italian occupation of Majorca

The Italian occupation of Majorca lasted throughout the Spanish Civil War. Italy intervened in the war with the intention of annexing the Balearic Islands and Ceuta and creating a client state in Spain. The Italians sought to control the Balearic Islands because of their strategic position, from which they could disrupt lines of communication between France and its North African colonies, and between British Gibraltar and Malta. Italian flags were flown over the island. Italian forces dominated Majorca, with Italians openly manning the airfields at Alcúdia and Palma, as well as Italian warships being based in the harbour of Palma.Prior to all-out intervention by Italy, Benito Mussolini authorized "volunteers" to go to Spain, resulting in the seizure of the largest Balearic island of Majorca by a force under Fascist Blackshirt leader Arconovaldo Bonaccorsi (also known as "Count Rossi"). Sent to Majorca to act as Italian proconsul in the Balearics, Bonaccorsi proclaimed that Italy would occupy the island in perpetuity and initiated a brutal reign of terror, arranging the murder of 3,000 people accused of being communists, and emptying Majorca's prisons by having all prisoners shot. In the aftermath of the Battle of Majorca, Bonaccorsi renamed the main street of Palma de Majorca Via Roma, and adorned it with statues of Roman eagles. Bonaccorsi was later rewarded by Italy for his activity in Majorca.Italian forces launched air raids from Majorca against Republican-held cities on mainland Spain. Initially Mussolini only authorized a weak force of Italian bomber aircraft to be based in Majorca in 1936 to avoid antagonizing Britain and France. However the lack of resolve by the British and French to Italy's strategy in the region, encouraged Mussolini to deploy twelve more bombers to be stationed in Majorca, including one aircraft flown by his son, Bruno Mussolini. By January 1938, Mussolini had doubled the number of bombers stationed in the Balearics and increased bomber attacks on shipping headed to support Spanish Republican forces. The buildup of Italian bomber aircraft on the island's airfields and increased Italian air attacks on Republican-held ports and shipping headed to Republican ports was viewed by France as provocative.After Franco's victory in the civil war, and several days after Italy's conquest in the Balkans of Albania, Mussolini issued an order on April 11 or 12 1939, to withdraw all Italian forces from Spain. Mussolini issued this order in response to Germany's sudden action of invading Czechoslovakia in 1939, in which Mussolini was aggravated by Hitler's swift success and sought to prepare Italy to make similar conquests in Eastern Europe.

Mussolini and I

Mussolini and I is a 1985 TV docu-drama, directed by Alberto Negrin, about the strained relationship between Italy's fascist dictator Benito Mussolini and his son-in-law and foreign minister, Count Galeazzo Ciano, based on Ciano's diaries. Made in English as an Italian-French-German-Swiss-Spanish-US co-production, with Bob Hoskins, Anthony Hopkins and Susan Sarandon in the leading roles, it first aired on Rai Uno on 15 April 1985 in a 130-minute version. On 8 September 1985, it premiered in the USA on HBO in an extended four-hour version.

All filming was done in Italy; including northern Italy's Gargnano, Merano, Bolzano, Verona, and in central Italy, Rome and L'Aquila. Filming was also done at the well known Villa Torlonia and Palazzo Venezia. It was released on a 2 disc DVD in August 2003. It is divided into 4 segments for a total of 240 minutes and was released by Koch Entertainment.

Mussolini family

The Mussolini family is a well-known family in Italy. The most prominent member was Benito Mussolini, the fascist dictator of Italy from 1922 to 1943. Other members of the family include:

Alessandro Mussolini (1854–1910), blacksmith, anarchist, and the father of Benito Mussolini

Rosa Maltoni Mussolini (1858–1905), mother of Benito Mussolini, married to Alessandro Mussolini

Benito Mussolini (1883–1945)

Rachele Mussolini (1890–1979), wife of Benito Mussolini

Edda Mussolini (1910–1995), daughter of Benito Mussolini, married to Galeazzo Ciano

Vittorio Mussolini (1916–1997), film critic and producer, son of Benito Mussolini

Bruno Mussolini (1918-1941), pilot in the Regia Aeronautica, son of Benito Mussolini

Romano Mussolini (1927–2006), musician and painter, son of Benito Mussolini, married to Maria Villani Scicolone, who is the sister of Sophia Loren

Alessandra Mussolini (born 1962), politician, granddaughter of Benito Mussolini

Arnaldo Mussolini (1885-1931), journalist and politician, brother of Benito Mussolini

Pact of Steel

The Pact of Steel (German: Stahlpakt, Italian: Patto d'Acciaio), known formally as the Pact of Friendship and Alliance between Germany and Italy, was a military and political alliance between Italy and Germany.

The pact was initially drafted as a tripartite military alliance between Japan, Italy and Germany. While Japan wanted the focus of the pact to be aimed at the Soviet Union, Italy and Germany wanted it aimed at the British Empire and France. Due to this disagreement, the pact was signed without Japan and became an agreement between Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany, signed on 22 May 1939 by foreign ministers Galeazzo Ciano of Italy and Joachim von Ribbentrop of Germany.

The pact consisted of two parts. The first section was an open declaration of continuing trust and cooperation between Germany and Italy while the second, a "Secret Supplementary Protocol", encouraged a union of policies concerning the military and economy. Although intended to last 10 years, it was effectively cancelled in 1943 with the removal of Italy's fascist government.

Salon Kitty

Salon Kitty was a high-class Berlin brothel used by the Nazi intelligence service, the Sicherheitsdienst (SD), for espionage purposes during World War II.

Created in the early 1930s, the salon was taken over by SS general Reinhard Heydrich and his subordinate Walter Schellenberg in 1939. The brothel was managed by original owner Kitty Schmidt throughout its entire existence. The plan was to seduce top German dignitaries and foreign visitors, as well as diplomats, with alcohol and women so they would disclose secrets or express their honest opinions on Nazi-related topics and individuals. Notable guests included Heydrich himself, Joseph Dietrich, Galeazzo Ciano and Joseph Goebbels. The building housing the salon was destroyed in an air raid in 1942 and the project quickly lost its importance. Salon Kitty has been the inspiration or subject to many brothels featured in films involving Nazi espionage.

The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich

The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany is a book by William L. Shirer chronicling the rise and fall of Nazi Germany from the birth of Adolf Hitler in 1889 to the end of World War II in 1945. It was first published in 1960, by Simon & Schuster in the United States. It was a bestseller in both the United States and Europe, and a critical success outside Germany; in Germany, criticism of the book stimulated sales. The book was feted by journalists, as reflected by its receipt of the National Book Award for non-fiction,

but the reception from academic historians was mixed.

Rise and Fall is based upon captured Nazi documents, the available diaries of propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels, of General Franz Halder, and of the Italian Foreign Minister Galeazzo Ciano, evidence and testimony from the Nuremberg trials, British Foreign Office reports, and the author's recollection of his six years in Germany (from 1934 to 1940) as a journalist, reporting on Nazi Germany for newspapers, the United Press International (UPI), and CBS Radio—terminated by Nazi Party censorship in 1940. The work was written and initially published in four parts, but a larger one-volume edition has become more common.

The Verona Trial

Il processo di Verona (internationally released as The Verona Trial) is a 1963 Italian historical drama film directed by Carlo Lizzani. The film tells of the final phases of the Italian fascist regime, in particular the affair of the 1944 Verona trial, in which Galeazzo Ciano, Emilio De Bono, Giovanni Marinelli and other eminent Fascist officials were sentenced to death and almost immediately executed by a shooting detachment.For her portrayal of Edda Mussolini-Ciano, Silvana Mangano won the two major Italian film awards, the David di Donatello for Best Actress and the Silver Ribbon in the same category.

Tripartite Pact

The Tripartite Pact, also known as the Berlin Pact, was an agreement between Germany, Italy and Japan signed in Berlin on 27 September 1940 by, respectively, Joachim von Ribbentrop, Galeazzo Ciano and Saburō Kurusu. It was a defensive military alliance that was eventually joined by Hungary (20 November 1940), Romania (23 November 1940), Bulgaria (1 March 1941) and Yugoslavia (25 March 1941), as well as by the German client state of Slovakia (24 November 1940). Yugoslavia's accession provoked a coup d'état in Belgrade two days later, and Italy and Germany responded by invading Yugoslavia (with Bulgarian, Hungarian and Romanian assistance) and partitioning the country. The resulting Italo-German client state known as the Independent State of Croatia joined the pact on 15 June 1941.

The Tripartite Pact was directed primarily at the United States. Its practical effects were limited, since the Italo-German and Japanese operational theatres were on opposite sides of the world and the high contracting powers had disparate strategic interests. Some technical cooperation was carried out, and the Japanese declaration of war on the United States propelled, although it did not require, a similar declaration of war from all the other signatories of the Tripartite Pact.

Tullio Cianetti

Tullio Cianetti (20 August 1899, in Assisi – 8 April 1976, in Maputo, Mozambique) was an Italian fascist politician who was well known for his work with the trade unions.

The son of a farmer, Cianetti was conscripted in 1917 and served as a lieutenant in the Italian Army until 1921. Returning to Assisi, he worked as a teacher, whilst also helping to found the fascio in the town, becoming secretary in 1922. He was moved to Terni to organise the syndicate before being promoted to captain and appointed regional secretary for syndicates in Umbria in 1924. The same year he stepped away from fascism for a time following the death of Giacomo Matteotti and suspicion began to arise that he was too left-wing. However, by 1925 he had returned as secretary of syndicates in Syracuse, before being promoted to major and going on to hold similar roles in Carrara, Messina, Matera and Treviso.In 1931 he was promoted to colonel and made secretary of the national federation of miners and quarrymen and in this role agitated for higher wages. However, despite his tendency to sometimes clash with the government he continued to rise in influence, serving as secretary of the Fascist Confederation of Industrial Workers' syndicates and Vice-President of the Institute of Social Assurance. As head of the Confederation, Cianetti concluded a deal with Robert Ley in 1937 to allow Italian workers to go to Nazi Germany for employment. Such was the regard with which he was held by the leaders of the German Labour Front that the main Volkswagen factory even had a leisure complex called Cianetti Hall in his honour.Cianetti's rise continued when he was promoted to general and appointed to the Fascist Grand Council in November 1934, and in 1939 was made undersecretary of corporations. He reached his zenith in April 1943 when he was promoted to marshal and became Minister of Corporations. However his dissident tendencies continued as Cianetti voted in favour of Dino Grandi's motion to remove Mussolini, after Grandi had told him that all he was doing was arranging for the king to share the burden of government with Mussolini. Cianetti wrote to Il Duce to apologise immediately afterwards.Cianetti was one of the fascists tried along with Galeazzo Ciano in the Verona trial of 8–10 January 1944, although of all the defendants he was the only one spared execution, sentenced instead to thirty years imprisonment. The letter of apology he had written to Mussolini saved him from the death penalty. Following the liberation he escaped imprisonment and went into exile in Mozambique.

Verona trial

The Verona Trial (Italian: processo di Verona) was held in the Italian Social Republic (ISR) to punish - by five almost immediately executed death sentences and one 30-year imprisonment - the members of the Grand Council of Fascism who had committed the offence of voting for Benito Mussolini's removal from power in the Kingdom of Italy and had later been arrested by Mussolini's forces.

This was a prominent event of the period of the Second World War.

Yugoslav Radical Union

The Yugoslav Radical Union (Serbian: Jugoslovenska radikalna zajednica, Југословенска радикална заједница; Slovene: Jugoslovanska radikalna skupnost, Croatian: Jugoslavenska radikalna zajednica; or JRZ) was a political party founded by Yugoslav Prime Minister Milan Stojadinović in 1935 as the ruling party of Yugoslavia that sponsored authoritarian mass mobilization. The party, whose agenda was based upon fascism, was the dominant political movement in the country until 1939, when Stojadinović was removed as Prime Minister. Party members wore green shirt uniforms and Šajkača caps and addressed Stojadinović as Vođa ("Leader").The party also had a paramilitary wing called the Greenshirts, who assaulted and clashed with those who were against Stojadinović's rule. Stojadinović told Italian foreign minister Galeazzo Ciano that although the party was initially established as a moderate authoritarian movement, his intention was to model the party after the Italian National Fascist Party.

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