Edda Mussolini married Ciano, Countess of Cortellazzo and Buccari, was one of the five sons of Benito Mussolini.
She was awarded the Silver Medal for Military Valor for the assistance work carried out even at the risk of life, during the first phase of the Second World War, as a Red Cross nurse, both on the Russian front and in Albania, where the ship on which she performed service was sunk.
Edda was born in Forlì and is the eldest daughter of Benito Mussolini and Rachele Guidi. The couple at that time is not married, in accordance with the anarcho-socialist ideas of Mussolini, so Edda is registered as an illegitimate daughter by her father Benito, with the indication "N. N." in place of the maternal name. This will then create the legend (sometimes exploited for political purposes) according to which his mother would have been Angelica Balabanoff, an Israeli socialist militant of Russian origin who had a relationship with Mussolini at the time when both were exiles in Switzerland.
Edda marries in Rome, April 24, 1930, Gian Galeazzo Ciano, from which he will have three sons: Fabrizio (called Ciccino), Raimonda (called Dindina) and Marzio (called Mowgli). The weddings, which took place in Rome, mark the start of the unstoppable political rise of her husband as Mussolini's 'dolphin'.
After a period in diplomacy, Ciano becomes first undersecretary of the Press and Propaganda and then Minister of Foreign Affairs. In 1939, with the Italian occupation of Albania, the city of Saranda takes the name of Porto Edda, which retains until 1944. Filotedesca, Edda will always support the position of his father on war, more hesitant will be her husband Galeazzo.
Of enterprising and restless personality, she presents behaviors she herself later defined as "tomboy", which will often lead her to clash with the powerful father who, in this regard, seems to have said: "I managed to subdue Italy , but I will never manage to subdue my daughter ". His indomitable character is manifested both as a child (brought to study in the board of the "fine" ladies of Poggio Imperiale, he is retired soon), both as a girl (she is one of the first women to wear pants and a bikini), and as an adult (cheating - reciprocated - husband, smoking, gambling).
On July 25, 1943, Cyan voted the Major's Much of Mussolini agenda, a vote that costs him the accusation of high treason and that initiated the personal tragedy of Edda, which leads a hard solitary battle to save the life of the husband, trying to trade it with his diaries, strongly critical of Germany. Edda has furious clashes with the Duce, as well as with his mother Rachele, in an attempt to save her husband from the death sentence following the Trial of Verona in 1944, and only many years later declares to have forgiven his father for not being able or wanted save the life of Galeazzo. His mother will say: "You have defended your man, I have defended mine".
She remained definitively alone, after her husband's shooting on 11 January 1944, Edda took refuge with her children in Switzerland, where she was housed in the small convent of the Dominican nuns of Neggio. Four months after the end of the war and the shooting of Mussolini, at the request of the Italian government, the Swiss send Edda out of the country. She is sentenced to two years of confinement on the island of Lipari. After a year he benefits from the amnesty promulgated by Palmiro Togliatti, at that time Minister of Justice, and rejoins his children. Finally he retires to Capri, alternating his stay in his villa with that in the Roman house.
In old age Edda Ciano has released a series of interviews, recorded in 1989 by a longtime friend, in which she tells for the first time her life, in particular adolescence, her relationship with her parents, their passions, the rise to power of his father, his loves, wars, worldly life, the tragic days of Verona. Edda Ciano died in Rome on April 8, 1995; She is buried in Livorno, in the Purification Cemetery, next to her husband Galeazzo.
One of her three children, Raimonda Ciano, was a pupil of the Collegio S. Elisabetta, run by the Franciscan Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart.