Did you know… Benito Mussolini dies at Villa Belmonte in Mezzegra

Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini is arrested on his last get-away to Switzerland. A day later he was shot dead together with his mistress in front of Villa Belmonte in Mezzegra. A piece of black history on Lake Como.

Benito Mussolini dies at Villa Belmonte in Mezzegra… The fascist dictator Benito Mussolini endorses with one of the darkest pages in the history of Italy. And you know that history, so we’re not going to dredge it up: after all, we want to keep it fun on our blog.

Yet Lake Como indirectly plays a striking role in the fall and death of Il Duce. And that is why this short piece of writing. We deliberately put this message under the category facts and not under sights.

Throwback to June 1943… Benito Mussolini is captured by Italian Partisans, but with the help of the German army, Mussolini escapes and regains control of Italy.

Villa Belmonte in Mezzegra
Villa Belmonte in Mezzegra

The Partisans are gaining ground and Mussolini’s fist is hitting less and less hard. His power is weakening… April 1945. The Germans give up the fight in Italy, they capitulate.

In an ultimate attempt to turn the tide, Mussolini sets up a guerrilla war with 3,000 of his most loyal Blackshirts, but only 13 show up. Mussolini’s song has ended. He travels to Milan to negotiate with the Partisans, but without results.

On April 27, 1945, a column of German SS officers is on its way to Austria. Between them was Benito Mussolini disguised in a German helmet and uniform. He wants to flee to Switzerland.

At Lake Como in Dongo (Musso) the column is stopped by Partisans who eats fascists for breakfast. Partisan Urbano Lazzaro recognizes Mussolini posing as a drunken soldier and immediately arrests him along with some followers.

Benito Mussolini en Clare Petacci.
Benito Mussolini en zijn maîtresse Clare Petacci
Geschiedenis en Benito Mussolini
Een korte verwijzing naar de geschiedenis en Benito Mussolini

A day later, on April 28, Partisan leader Walter Audisio brings Mussolini and his mistress Clara Petacci to Villa Belmonte in Mezzegra. Audisio tells them both to have an escape plan ready to offer them a safe exit. After all, the Partisans want to bring Mussolini to justice quickly.

Benito Mussolini Mezzegra
Oude postkaart
Benito Mussolini wordt opgeknoopt

But Audisio has other plans… On his own initiative or at the insistence of the leaders of the Partisans in Milan (not yet clear), Audisio shoots Mussolini – at his request – by a shot in the chest. Clara Petacci also gets the bullet. The devil couple dies at 4:10 PM in the unsightly street Via Maggio 24 on Lake Como…

The bodies are taken to Milan where an angry crowd takes out their frustrations on the remains. The bodies are hung upside down at a gas station. Ultimately, Mussolini is buried…

Today a cross and a brief information board at Villa Belmonte testify to the end of Benito Mussolini. The house is currently privately owned and occupied. You can take a look, but there isn’t much to see. Well, reflecting on the pain of a world war never hurts…

Picture of Liselotte en Paul

Liselotte en Paul

Enthousiaste schouders onder onze blog Amiamo Lago di Como. Onze passie voor het Comomeer uitschrijven, dat is wat we graag doen!
Discover in our webshop

Buy Explore Lake Como Guide online!