Mussolini’s bunker just opened for the public.
According to the AP: “Mussolini had the bunker made by encapsulating the 19th-century villa’s underground kitchen area in reinforced concrete. Before that, the Mussolini family would have had to dash across the villa’s sprawling lawn and gardens to reach the wine-cellar shelter in a separate structure if air raid sirens sounded.
“Work began in 1942 to expand and fortify the bunker. Archaeologist Giuseppe Granata said Mussolini had lamented in writing that the updated bunker was running behind schedule and over cost. It is not known if the dictator ever used the bunker. By the time Allied bombings hit Rome, the dictator had been deposed and, under Nazi protection, was leading a puppet state in northern Italy. In 1945, partisans captured and executed him.”
According to the BBC: “A World War Two bunker used by the Italian fascist leader Benito Mussolini is being opened to the public for the first time.”
It used to be a wine cellar under the grounds of what was his private villa in Rome. However, states the BBC, by the time Allied bombings hit the Italian capital, Mussolini had been deposed as dictator.
The Times of Israel states that a noble family had previously lived in the villa before Mussolini moved in, and the shelter was constructed in 1940. The bunker also has anti-gas, double steel doors.
The Times of Israel: “Visitors at a preview Saturday saw a rusting contraption to purify air in case of a gas attack. A label on the apparatus was dated November 1940 in Roman numerals, in keeping with Mussolini’s style of evoking the ancient Roman empire’s glory days as inspiration for his own rule.”
According to The Times, the tours will run on weekends starting Oct. 31, and they will also show visitors a separate underground bunker that was built for Mussolini directly under the villa.