When Mussolini Met Hitler
|Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini, 1934|
From the start, the fuhrer felt himself at a decided disadvantage, both sartorially and linguistically. Mussolini was snappily dressed as the commander-in-chief of the Italian Fascist Militia, while Hitler was sporting nothing flashier than an old suit and a fedora. And Mussolini spoke German, while Hitler knew not a jot of Italian.
The visit lasted three days and by the end of it Mussolini had come to the conclusion that Hitler was 'un clown, po' matto' (a clown, a little mad), while Hitler thought Mussolini was 'a pompous buffoon'.
The airport's terminal building survives from 1932, so it is the same space through which the two dictators would have strolled on that summer day in 1934.