As we know, the rise of fascism in the inter-war period in the 20th Century was caused by myriad factors relating to the first World War and the Great Depression. Much focus has been on Hitler's Nazi Party in Germany, but Mussolini and his National Fascist Party in Italy is an important and equally interesting part of the history.
After an ambiguous involvement in the Great War, Rome felt slighted by the Allies, a fact exploited by the fascist party in their rise to power. Mussolini marched into Rome in 1922 and declared out of the Kingdom of Italy, a new Empire. Initially, he was Prime Minister, but eventually realized his goal of creating a totalitarian state with himself as leader.
Although his personal relationship with Hitler was rocky, Italy was aligned with Germany early on in the war, solidifying its fate during the beginning of the Second World War. Hitler seemed much more supportive of Mussolini than the other way around. Italy's brand of fascism lacked much of the racist qualities the German socialist party was famous for. Indeed, Mussolini often mocked Hitler's view of a pure race.
Italy's disastrous involvement in North Africa tied up and wasted most of their troops, leading Mussolini to become increasingly despondent. When the Allies first bombed Rome in 1943, the city was soon thereafter declared an Open City (meaning that defensive efforts had been abandoned). Thankfully, this spared Rome from much of the same destruction that other European cities faced. Rome hotels
, schools and other infrastructure remained relatively intact. German forces occupied the city until the Allies liberated it in 1944.
Mussolini during this time had lost the support of many of his followers.
He was removed from government and executed in 1945. Celebrations erupted in hotels in Rome
, Milan and Sicily.