Clara Petacci

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Clara Petacci
Clara Petacci.png
Born (1912-02-28)February 28, 1912
Rome, Italy
Died April 28, 1945(1945-04-28) (aged 33)
Giulino di Mezzegra, Italy
Nationality Italian
Known for Being the mistress of Benito Mussolini
Relatives Miriam di San Servolo (sister)

Clara Petacci, known as Claretta Petacci (Italian pronunciation: [klaˈretta peˈtattʃi]; 28 February 1912 – 28 April 1945) was a mistress of the Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, and was executed with him by partisans.

Relationship with Mussolini[edit]

Petacci had a long-standing relationship with Mussolini while he was married to Rachele Mussolini. Benito was 28 years older than Petacci.[1]

Part of their correspondence is still the subject of a dispute with the National Archives, based on privacy.[2]


On 27 April 1945, Mussolini and Petacci were captured by partisans while traveling with a convoy of Italian Social Republic members.[3]

On 28 April, she and Mussolini were taken to Mezzegra and shot. On the following day, the bodies of Mussolini and Petacci were taken to the Piazzale Loreto in Milan and hung upside down in front of a petrol station. The bodies were photographed as a crowd vented their rage upon them.[4]


Clara Petacci's father was Dr. Francesco Petacci, primary physician of Pope Pius XI. Her sister was actress Miriam di San Servolo (31 May 1923 – 24 May 1991), also known as Miriam Petacci or Miriam Day. Petacci's brother, Marcello Petacci, was captured with Mussolini and Petacci. However, rather than being executed in Dongo, he was shot while trying to escape.

The corpses of Bombacci, Mussolini, Clara Petacci, Pavolini and Starace in Piazzale Loreto, 1945

In popular culture[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ (in Spanish) Giuseppina Persichetti, La enamorada de Mussolini, Madrid, Ediciones Caballero Audaz, 1947.
  2. ^ (in Italian) Giampiero Buonomo, Quel carteggio tra Mussolini e la Petacci. Storici sacrificati sull’altare della privacy, in Diritto e giustizia, 16 luglio 2005.
  3. ^ Gunther Langes, Auf Wiedersehen Claretta. Il diario dell'uomo che poteva salvare Mussolini e la Petacci, a cura di Nico Pirozzi, Villaricca, Edizioni Cento Autori, 2012. ISBN 978-88-97121-37-4.
  4. ^ "Death of the Father-Mussolini & Fascist Italy: the 'infamous' exhibit". Cornell Institute for Digital Collections. 1999. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Nicholas Farrell, Mussolini: A New Life (Phoenix Press, London, 2003) ISBN 1-84212-123-5
  • Luciano Garibaldi, Mussolini: The Secrets of His Death (Enigma Books, New York, 2004) ISBN 1-929631-23-5
  • Ray Moseley, Mussolini: The Last 600 Days of Il Duce (Taylor Trade Publishing, Dallas, 2004) ISBN 1-58979-095-2
  • Rudolph S. Daldin "The Last Centurion" Volumes I&II ISBN 0-921447-34-5
  • R.J.B. Bosworth "Claretta: Mussolini's Last Lover" ISBN 978-0300214277