Piazzale Loreto
Piazzale Loreto is a major town square 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 ,...

, Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...


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
Zone 2 of Milan
The Zone 2 of Milan is one of the 9 administrative zones of Milan, Italy. In the "sunburst" geometry of the zones of Milan, Zone 2 is the slice that connects the centre to the periphery in the north-east direction....

 administrative division. The name "Loreto" derives from an old sanctuary that used to be there and that was dedicated to Our Lady of Loreto (a city in the Ancona
Ancona is a city and a seaport in the Marche region, in central Italy, with a population of 101,909 . Ancona is the capital of the province of Ancona and of the region....


Piazzale Loreto was the scene of one of the most well-known events in the modern history of Italy
History of Italy
Italy, united in 1861, has significantly contributed to the political, cultural and social development of the entire Mediterranean region. Many cultures and civilizations have existed there since prehistoric times....

, namely the public display of 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....

's corpse on 29 April 1945. The day before, Mussolini, his mistress Clara Petacci
Clara Petacci
Clara Petacci was an upper class Roman whose father had been the personal physician to the Pope. She became the mistress of the Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, who was twenty-eight years her senior...

 and some other high-ranking Fascists had been captured and shot by 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...

 near Lake Como. Their bodies were taken to Milan and hung upside down from the roof of an Esso
Esso is an international trade name for ExxonMobil and its related companies. Pronounced , it is derived from the initials of the pre-1911 Standard Oil, and as such became the focus of much litigation and regulatory restriction in the United States. In 1972, it was largely replaced in the U.S. by...

 petrol station in the square. Also on 29 April 1945 Achille Starace
Achille Starace
Achille Starace was a prominent leader of Fascist Italy prior to and during World War II.-Early life and career:Starace was born in Gallipoli in southern Italy near Lecce. He was son of a wine and oil merchant....

was taken to the square and shown the body of Mussolini just before being shot himself. The body of Starace was subsequently strung up next to Mussolini's. The bodies were photographed as a crowd vented their rage upon them.

The display of these bodies took place in the same spot where, one year before, Fascist squads had exposed the bodies of fifteen Milanese civilians (the so-called "Martyrs of Piazzale Loreto") whom they had killed in retaliation against partisan activity. The square had even been renamed "Piazza Quindici Martiri" in honor of the executed.
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