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  • Location: Italy, Tremeti islands, San Domino

Mussolini’s Island

Mussolini’s Island

Why a Booktrail?

WW2: If history should teach you anything, it’s Non mollare. Never give up.

  • ISBN: 978-1472238191
  • Genre: Historical, Inspired by true events

What you need to know before your trail

One day on the island of San Domino, Francesco is rounded up with a group of young men and herded into a camp. Straight away, he realises that someone has handed a list of names to the fascist police. Those who were his friends are suddenly potentially his enemies. Whilst his former lover Emilio is constantly agitating for revolution, his old friend Gio jealously watches their relationship rekindle. Locked in spartan dormitories, resentment between the men grows each day.

Meanwhile, Elena, a young girl also on the island, is drawn to the handsome Francesco despite her family trying to keep her away from him. She makes paper birds and one day is given messages to pass on. She’s not sure who they are from; she knows simply that Francesco is hiding something.

But then Elena discovers the truth about the group of prisoners, and what follows will have terrible consequences for all.

Travel Guide

1938 Mussolini’s Island

Mussolini rules Italy and the Facists are everywhere. This is a war torn country, a war beaten country and everyone is at risk, under suspicion and worse. On the little island of San Domino, life has been quite quiet and unassuming.

Originally from Naples, Francesco and his mother have fled there to start a new life and for a while, life is good. War looms large however and men like Francesco are under the biggest shadow of anyone as he is gay and in those days, it was not talked about or accepted in any way. It was dangerous to be gay in those days and is considered to be unmanly. The imprisoned men on the island – the femminella – as they are called are considered to weak and feminine to fight. Italy still remembers their worse defeat in the war – the Caporetto – and is fearful of another tragedy like it.

Strangely the men in this camp found it less of a prison than they did in the outside world. Here they could be themselves in many ways despite their imprisonment and shackles.  There are curfews but the regime had n wittingly created a place where these men couldn’t be arrested for their homosexuality and where you were expected to be openly gay.

Booktrail Boarding Pass: Mussolini’s Island

Author/Guide: Sarah Day  Destination: Italy, Tremeti islands, San Domino  Departure Time: WW2

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