ITALY: Et Tu, Benito

"My mouth brushes against his and I say: 'And you, Benito-do you know I love you?' "

With such sultry passages did the onetime French gossip columnist, Magda Fontanges, reveal the story of her passion for Italy's aging (58) Mussolini. Last week, two years later, she would scarcely have recognized her onetime lover.* In his private study at the Palazzo Venezia, Mussolini no longer entertains visitors. In deep gloom he sits alone, reading Dante and Virgil, while his people faint on the streets from hunger.

For the first time since Italy declared war...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!