Tunnels discovered under Mussolini’s former headquarters
Restoration team at Palazzo Venezia find dictator’s planned hiding place
By Guglielmo Gigliotti. Web only
Published online: 17 April 2013
A team from the cultural authority in Italy’s Lazio region have discovered an underground complex of nine reinforced concrete tunnels while carrying out restoration works in the Medieval Palazzo Venezia, a grand building once destined for high-ranking members of the clergy and subsequently used to house Venetian ambassadors.
During the Second World War, the dictator Benito Mussolini set up an office in the building and made many of his wartime speeches from the small front balcony overlooking the main square. The tunnels, located beneath his offices, were built by the dictator as a hideout when the course of the war began to turn against him.
The tunnels have now been restored and will serve as an exhibition space, but are yet to open to the public.
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