Clara Petacci
Clara Petacci (28 February 1912 28 April 1945) was an upper class Roman
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

 whose father had been the personal physician to the Pope
The Pope is the Bishop of Rome, a position that makes him the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church . In the Catholic Church, the Pope is regarded as the successor of Saint Peter, the Apostle...

. She became the mistress of the Italian dictator Benito Mussolini
Benito Mussolini
Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini was an Italian politician who led the National Fascist Party and is credited with being one of the key figures in the creation of Fascism....

, who was twenty-eight years her senior. On 27 April 1945, when a convoy of escaping Italian Social Republic
Italian Social Republic
The Italian Social Republic was a puppet state of Nazi Germany led by the "Duce of the Nation" and "Minister of Foreign Affairs" Benito Mussolini and his Republican Fascist Party. The RSI exercised nominal sovereignty in northern Italy but was largely dependent on the Wehrmacht to maintain control...

 members, including Mussolini, was captured by Communist partisans
Italian resistance movement
The Italian resistance is the umbrella term for the various partisan forces formed by pro-Allied Italians during World War II...

, it is said that Petacci was offered the opportunity to go unmolested. On 28 April, she and Mussolini were taken to Mezzegra
Mezzegra is a comune in the Province of Como in the Italian region Lombardy.-Geography:It lies on the northwestern shore of Lake Como between Tremezzo and Lenno at the foot of Monte Tremezzo . It is about north of Milan and about northeast of Como...

 where she and the Duce
Duce is an Italian title, derived from the Latin word dux, and cognate with duke. National Fascist Party leader Benito Mussolini was identified by Fascists as Il Duce of the movement and became a reference to the dictator position of Head of Government and Duce of Fascism of Italy was established...

 were shot. On the following day, 29 April, Mussolini and Petacci's bodies were taken to the Piazzale Loreto
Piazzale Loreto
Piazzale Loreto is a major town square in Milan, Italy.The name Loreto is also used in a wider sense to refer to the district surrounding the square, which is part of the Zone 2 administrative division...

 in Milan
Milan is the second-largest city in Italy and the capital city of the region of Lombardy and of the province of Milan. The city proper has a population of about 1.3 million, while its urban area, roughly coinciding with its administrative province and the bordering Province of Monza and Brianza ,...

 and hung upside down in front of a petrol station. The bodies were photographed as a crowd vented their rage upon them.


  • Clara Petacci's sister was actress Miriam di San Servolo
    Miriam di San Servolo
    Miriam di San Servolo was an Italian actress, born in Rome as Miria Petacci. Her elder sister, Clara Petacci, was Benito Mussolini's mistress and was executed with him on April 28, 1945.-References:...

     (31 May 1923 – 24 May 1991), also known as Miriam Petacci or Miriam Day.
  • Clara Petacci's brother, Marcello Petacci, was captured with Mussolini and Petacci. But, rather than being murdered in Dongo, he was shot while trying to escape.

In popular culture

  • Claretta, 1984 film starring Claudia Cardinale
    Claudia Cardinale
    Claudia Cardinale is an Italian actress, and has appeared in some of the most prominent European films of the 1960s and 1970s. The majority of Cardinale's films have been either Italian or French...

  • Other films
  • The American musician Scott Walker
    Scott Walker (singer)
    Scott Walker, born Noel Scott Engel on January 9, 1943 is an American singer-songwriter, musician, record producer, and the former lead singer of The Walker Brothers. Despite being American born, Walker's chart success has largely come in the United Kingdom, where his first four solo albums...

     recorded a song about Petacci called "Clara" on his 2006 album The Drift
    The Drift
    - Personnel :* Scott Walker – Vocals, Guitar, Harmonica, Sax, Sound Treatment* Hugh Burns – Guitar* Ian Thomas – Drums* Mark Warman – Keyboards, Orchestration, Conducting, Percussion, Woodwind, Sound Treatment* Philip Sheppard – Orchestration, Conducting, Cello...

  • The Spanish skinhead band 'División 250' also recorded a song about Petacci called 'Clara'.
  • Mussolini: The Untold Story
    Mussolini: The Untold Story
    Mussolini: The Untold Story follows the Italian dictator Benito Mussolini . The series begins in 1922 as Mussolini gathers his power through the use of his Black Shirt militia. Promoting himself as Caesar reincarnate, Il Duce gains a national fervor that peaks after the Italian invasion of...

    , 1985 TV-miniseries featured Virginia Madsen
    Virginia Madsen
    Virginia Madsen is an American actress and documentary film producer. She came to fame during the 1980s, having appeared in several films aimed at a teenage audience...

    as Petacci.

Further reading

  • Nicholas Farrell, Mussolini: A New Life (Phoenix Press, London, 2003) ISBN 1-84212-123-5
  • Luciano Garibaldi, Mussolini: The Secrets of His Death (Enigma Books, New York, 2004) ISBN 1-929631-23-5
  • Ray Moseley, Mussolini: The Last 600 Days of Il Duce (Taylor Trade Publishing, Dallas, 2004) ISBN 1-58979-095-2
  • Rudolph S. Daldin "The Last Centurion" Volumes I&II ISBN 0-921447-34-5

External links

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