I’d like to tell you about the love affair in Lipari between Edda Ciano, who was the daughter of Benito Mussolini, and Leonida Bongiorno, a young communist.
The island of Lipari has been, for a long time, a confinement camp and the Castle was used as a prison until 1950.
Bourbons, already in the 1800s, employed the Castle of Lipari as a prison. During Fascism time, political prisoners against the regime were confined here.
After the downfall of the Fascism, the Allies exploited the island of Lipari a prison from 1943 to 1945. Among the exiles, there was also Edda Ciano, the Duce’s favorite daughter. She was aristocratic and Fascist, and she had a love affair with Leonida. He was a young man from Lipari, who was communist and belonged to a middle-class family.
The love affair between Edda and Leonida
Edda arrived in September 1945 and remained until June 1946. Leonida used to recite some verses from the Odyssey and she listened to him for hours. The story continued even after Edda’s departure from Lipari. There was an exchanges of letters and they also met twice. Then this feeling faded over the course of time.
Many years later, in memory of that love, Leonidas had the verses of Song XII of Homer’s Odyssey, speaking of the Aeolian Islands, sculpted on a wall.
This is the part of the poem that refers to the faraglioni, tall rocks of Lipari:
On the one hand there are some overhanging rocks against which the deep blue waves of Amphitrite beat with terrific fury; the blessed gods call these rocks the Wanderers.
Today the wall is still there as everlasting memory of that impossible love. It is located in Piazza Mazzini, not far from the Town Hall of Lipari.
How many tourists will have ever gone past the monument and looked at the wall ignoring the story behind?
If you want to know more about this short but intense love affair, Marcello Sorgi, an Italian writer, wrote a book entitled Edda Ciano and the Communist . This book inspired a film, which was shot in Lipari.
During a guided tour of Lipari, we’ll observe this wall and speak of an intriguing love affair while we are enjoying the panorama.