Mussolini's prison paradise – Italian fascist dictator Benito Mussolini was imprisoned on the island of Ponza, northwest of Naples, for 10 days in July 1943.
21 years in power – Mussolini ruled Italy constitutionally from 1923 to 1925, then as a dictatorship until he was ousted by King Victor Emmanuel III in 1943. He's pictured here in 1934.
A nation at war – In order to keep Mussolini's location secret from German forces who wished to reinstate him to power the prisoner was moved first to Ponza (pictured), then later to the island of La Maddalena.
Prison isle – A prison isle since Greek and Roman times, Mussolini had for decades confined his political enemies on remote but beautiful Ponza. Now it was his turn.
Pensione Silvia – This nine-bed guest house, now painted yellow, was where Mussolini stayed in relative luxury. He had a whole floor to himself, as well as his own laundrywoman and cook.
Frontone beach – He was also able to roam freely -- albeit followed by prison guards. Silveria Aroma, the guest house's current owner, proudly recalls that the dictator attempted to seduce her grandmother on this beach.
Sleeping with the enemy – The bedroom used by Mussolini is said to have previously housed Ras Imru, Ethiopian guerrilla leader and cousin of Emperor Haile Selassie, who was held captive in Ponza on Mussolini's orders.
Dictator's balcony – "His room has the best panorama of all and is the only one with two windows," says Aroma. It has a superb view of Ponza's Roman harbor.
Mussolini's signature – Ponza's local priest published memoirs recounting his relationship with Il Duce. This is a letter Mussolini wrote, asking the priest to say a mass for his late son, Bruno.
Mid-20th century Ponza – The guest house was painted white at the time the dictator stayed there. "Our building was the biggest at that time, fit to host important people such as Ras Imru and Mussolini," explains Aroma.
Ponza as it was – "My grandfather had made a fortune trading lobsters across the Mediterranean. Our people have always been great fishermen," adds Aroma.
Tea with Mussolini – The seaside guest house has a popular fish restaurant. Ponza has long been a vacation spot for celebrities including Kirk Douglas, Sophia Loren and Burt Lancaster.
Machismo – Mussolini cultivated a reputation as a man's man. He's pictured here in an undershirt riding his horse at Villa Torlonia. Legend has it he also enjoyed skiing bare-chested.
Historical Gym and Honor Salon – The Italic Forum's Historical Gym and "Honor Salon." This Rome facility was created by Mussolini as a symbol of fascism's supposed superhuman power. The wall paintings portray the tyrant and gymnasts working-out. It's occasionally opened to the public.
Dictator-themed wine – Controversial Italian winery Vini Lunardelli has a line of wines inspired by infamous figures from history, including Mussolini, Joseph Stalin, Adolf Hitler and Rudolf Hess.
Tomb in Predappio – Mussolini's tomb in his home town of Predappio, is a pilgrimage site for hundreds of neo-fascists pining for Italy's lost "golden era."