Rome - Villa Torlonia

Between 1925 and 1943, Italian fascist leader Benito Mussolini and his family lived in a stylish villa called Casino Noble. The villa was located in a park called Villa Torlonia in central Rome and began to be built in the early nineteenth century by the banker Giovanni Torlonia. Mussolini came to rent the villa for the symbolic sum of one lire per year. With a possible war in mind, Mussolini first built a shelter in the garden and later during the war built a larger bunker complex adjacent to Casino Noble. Mussolini held both official and private events in the park. The wedding of his daughter Edda and Galeazzo Ciano, Mussolini’s secretary of state. There were also opportunities for various recreational activities such as tennis and horse jumping. After Rome was liberated in early June 1944, the villa was taken over by American troops who remained there until 1947.

Current status: Preserved with museum (2018).

Address: Via Nomentana 70, 00161 Rom.

Get there: Metro to Policlinico station.

My comment:

Casino Noble is 2018 a museum where the years with Mussolini occupy a smaller part. Both shelters and bunker remain but cannot be visited. The bunker was somewhere around 2010 open to visitors but for some reason I am not aware of this is no longer possible. The park itself is open to the public but is a bit run down. A short walk from Villa Torlonia on Via Tolmino 6 in a hotel (Relais) there is a small interesting museum called Museum and Allied Forces – Rome. The museum is run by the hotel owner and consists of all sorts of materials and equipment that the owner has collected over the years. When this was written in 2018, the owner’s ambition was to sell the museum.

Follow up in books: Hibbert, Christopher: Mussolini: The Rise and Fall of Il Duce (2008).