On the taxi ride from Malpensa this morning, I learned a little history of our neighborhood in Milan. I asked the driver to take me to Piazzale Loreto. About 20 minutes into the ride, the driver filled me in on Loreto’s history, specifically regarding Mussolini’s execution, in April 1945.
Mussolini was executed, firing squad style, an hour from here, in Lake Como. Following his death, Mussolini’s body was brought to Milan, hung on meat hooks at Piazzale Loreto and stoned by the public. Alongside him, also hanging, were his mistress, Clara Petacci, and some peers.
As the taxi cruised into the roundabout, the driver pointed out the exact spot, the scene took place. About ten steps away from our apartment building’s entrance.
In my jet-lagged haze, I vaguely recalled seniors in their military best at this location on Italy’s Liberation Day, on April 25th. It was here that they placed wreaths at the foot of a seemingly inconsequential sculpture.
The wreaths laid there for weeks afterwards, increasingly cracked and broken by the sun. All dried up, save for the piss of dogs walking by, ours included.