Ian Kershaw's Hitler biography Nemesis describes Hitler's hurriedly arranged summit with Mussolini in July 1943:

After landing at Treviso, Hitler and Mussolini travelled in the Duce's train to a station near Feltre and then still had an hour's drive in open-top cars in the sweltering heat until they reached the villa chosen for the meeting, which began at noon

The villa in question was Villa Gaggia, a pleasant enough villa in the foothills of the Dolomites. The North East of Italy makes sense geographically for a meeting between the two dictators. But why did Hitler, having flown as far as Treviso, then set off north again, by train, all the way back up to Feltre? Feltre is nearly half way back up to the Austrian border. Then, as Kershaw points out, the "Feltre meeting" didn't in fact take place in Feltre but an hour further on, by road.

I know the area. If a comfortable, secure and secluded villa were required, then the entire Treviso area is dotted with suitable residences. Villa Gaggia would seem a strange choice for a lightning visit. Does anyone know why they went there?

Incidentally, Kershaw notes this was Hitler's last visit to Italy. Does that make it his last foreign trip of any kind?

  • Richard Bosworth, in his biography of Mussolini (London 2002) p 400 indicates that while the meeting was in progress Allied forces effected an especially heavy bombing raid on Rome, in which 150,000 people fled the City. In Bosworth's view that particular raid "finished Mussolini". There may be some relevance in this. Who knows?
    – WS2
    Commented Feb 26, 2023 at 20:11

2 Answers 2


The two planned to meet at Villa Gaggia for a few reasons:

  • Villia Gaggia was or had a bunker, protecting both figures from attack

  • Villia Gaggia was in Belluno, far away from the front lines

    Belluno's Location

    Map Of Italy

  • Mussolini had already knew about the house and probably liked it.

  • The Reich had direct control over the location

"Unpublished documents confirm the hypothesis. Talking about this "evidence" is so far unknown Doglioni Paul : "In a publication of 2012," Pieces of history Belluno ", I reported rumors hypothetical project to create an additional seat for Benito Mussolini at Villa Gaggia in Socchieva, just kilometers from Belluno, "recalls Doglioni. "Mussolini knew the house, since I met Adolf Hitler, 19 July 1943. In addition, after September 8, the province of Belluno, with Trento and Bolzano, was part dell'Alpenvorland, directly under the military administration of the Third Reich"

http:// corrierealpi.gelocal.it/belluno/cronaca/2015/01/27/news/un-bunker-a-villa-gaggia-per-ospitare-mussolini-1.10743075?refresh_ce

  • 1
    I got down voted? Huh, anyways, was this helpful? Commented Sep 15, 2015 at 22:19
  • 1
    In July 1943, Italy was completely controlled by the Axis. Your map is from several months after the conference. The Allies didn't land at Calabria until September, two months after the meeting. Commented Aug 20, 2018 at 18:36

Villa Gaggia was chosen by neither Hitler nor Mussolini. The Fascists were already plotting to overthrow Mussolini and get out of the war, and contrived to make the locus of the meeting as difficult to reach and unaccommodating as possible. That's why that remote villa was chosen by them. It was a rather churlish ploy, conceived in a typically Italian fashion. What Athena Castella wrote is a complete fiction. The area was not yet under German control, and the Allies had not even landed in Italy by then. Hitler was mad that the Italians had chosen the place because so much time was wasted just getting there and there was not enough time to discuss the situation. (which was exactly what the Italians had intended!)

  • 6
    Hi Jin Mo and welcome to History SE. Your answer would be improved if you add some sources so that those who are interested can read up on this more. Commented Sep 4, 2018 at 5:58

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.