Inside Italy’s Mount Soratte lies Benito Mussolini’s most incredible bunker, a maze of tunnels deep underground and running for kilometres.
The system of tunnels was a top-secret hideaway for the Italian dictator’s family and closest allies. Once he stepped down as Italy’s leader in 1943, the bunker was passed onto Nazi General Albert Kesselring.
Kesselring, one of Nazi Germany’s most powerful commanders, used the bunker as a base for German troops. Housing almost 1,000 Nazis, the bunker included restaurants and a theatre.
During the Cold War, the Italian government restructured the structure was renovated into a refuge from nuclear attack.
The bunker already has a fascinating history but rumours of Nazi gold are adding to the area’s intrigue.
Architect Gregory Paolucci, head of the organization running tours through the mountain, has told news.com.au that the masses of tunnels could hide golden bars that German troops allegedly stole from the Bank Of Italy.
““Both German and Italian soldiers witnessed that the gold was real. The Italian army in the 1960s funded a 72-million-lira excavation in a desperate attempt to find the treasure, employing hi-tech metal detectors and even water seekers.”
“Local miners, now dead, said they had taken part in burying the treasure and many partisans fighting the Nazis saw the gold lorries enter the mountain and never exit. In 1989 a baron even went on a search, authorised by the government. Now if all this were a fairytale, why such a big fuss? Why would the army get involved?”
Paolucci believes there could be as much as 2 kilometres of intestine-like tunnels that remain unexplored and could hide the missing 72 golden bars.
Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini, born 29 July 1883, was the founder of fascism and led Italy from 1922 to 1943.
Mussolini rose to power in the wake of World War One as the chief proponent of fascism. His military expenditure in Albania, Somalia, Libya and Ethiopia made Italy predominant in the Mediterranean until his forces were exhausted in the late 1930s.
The dictator allied himself with Hitler, relying on the Fuhrer to boost his leadership during World War Two. He was killed in 1945, shortly after the German surrender.