(1890-04-11)11 April 1890
Predappio Alta, Italy
|Died||30 October 1979(1979-10-30) (aged 89)
( m. 1915; d. 1945)
Rachele Mussolini was born Rachele Guidi in Predappio, Romagna, Kingdom of Italy (Regno d'Italia). She was born into a peasant family and was the daughter of Agostino Guidi and wife Anna Lombardi. After the death of her father, her mother became the lover of the widowed Alessandro Mussolini.
Relationship, marriage and children
In 1910, Rachele Guidi moved in with Alessandro's son Benito Mussolini. In 1914, Mussolini married his first wife Ida Dalser. Though the records of this marriage were destroyed by Mussolini's government, an edict from the city of Milan ordering Mussolini to make maintenance payments to “his wife Ida Dalser” and their child was overlooked. Shortly before his son Benito Albino Mussolini was born to Ida Dalser, Rachele Guidi and Benito Mussolini were married in a civil ceremony in Treviglio, Lombardy on 17 December 1915. In 1925, they renewed their vows in a religious service (after Mussolini's rise to power).
Rachele Mussolini bore five children by Benito Mussolini and she was willing to ignore his various mistresses. Rachele and Benito Mussolini had two daughters, Edda (1910–1995) and Anna Maria (1929–1968), and three sons Vittorio (1916–1997), Bruno (1918–1941), and Romano (1927–2006).
Lifestyle during husband's regime
During the reign of Mussolini's Fascist regime, Rachele Mussolini was portrayed as the model Fascist housewife and mother. She remained loyal to Mussolini until the end. But, on 28 April 1945, she was not with Mussolini when he and his mistress, Claretta Petacci, were captured and executed by Italian partisans. Rachele Mussolini did try to flee from Italy after World War II but, in April 1945, she was arrested in Como, close to Switzerland by Italian partisans. She was turned over to the United States Army and kept on Ischia Island, but was released after several months.
In her later life, Rachele Mussolini ran a restaurant in her native village of Predappio, where she served pasta dishes. She eventually received a pension from the Italian Republic in 1975. It turned out that Mussolini had not received a salary from the state, and therefore she could not receive a pension. After her husband's execution, she begged to have his body for private burial, in vain.
With Albert Zarca she wrote a biography of her husband, translated into English as Mussolini: An Intimate Biography.
- "Rachele Mussolini Dies, Fascist Dictator's Widow". Washington Post. 31 October 1979.
- Owen, Richard (13 January 2005). "Power-mad Mussolini sacrificed wife and son". The Times. Archived from the original on 29 June 2011.
- Mussolini, Rachele; Zarca, Albert (1974). Mussolini: an intimate biography. Morrow. ISBN 978-0-688-00266-4.