Giuseppe Volpi, Count of Misurata, was an Italian entrepreneur and politician. He was governor of Italian Tripolitania, Minister of Finance and President of Confindustria from 1934 to 1943. He was the son of engineer Ernesto Volpi and Emilia De Mitri. Orphaned father, with a little money in his pocket he left the University of Padua and moved to the then Ottoman Empire in search of fortune. He became rich exporting tobacco from Montenegro, invested the gains acquired in the nascent electrical industry and in 1905, returned home, established the SADE (Adriatic Electricity Company), thus acquiring an important position in the production and supply of energy electricity.
In 1917 he was among the protagonists of the construction of the new Porto Marghera and after the First World War he acquired prestigious hotel chains, managing the Grand Hotel and the Excelsior in Venice. He was President of the Assonime from 1919 to 1921, calling in the role of secretary Felice Guarneri.
Although a Mason, he joined fascism and from 1922 to 1925 he was governor of Italian Tripolitania. In this capacity he endorsed the actions of harsh repression ordered by General Rodolfo Graziani against the Libyan rebels. In 1925 he was granted the title of Count of Misurata by Vittorio Emanuele III. From 1925 to 1928 he was Minister of Finance of the Mussolini government: his government action was aimed at bringing the capitalists closer to fascism.
He was president of Confindustria from 1934 to 1943. In this capacity, Volpi promoted the interests of Italian capitalism to the regime, assuring in exchange the support and collaboration of the industrial world to fascism and to the Mussolini political project, considered by the world's top Italian production as a modernizer and functional to its interests. This support began to disappear in 1943, when the serious destruction of infrastructure and industrial plants in Italy by the Anglo-American offensive - and the conscience that the war was irretrievably lost - put the political and economic situation in the country in crisis.
In 1938 he became president of the board of directors of Assicurazioni Generali in place of the resigning Edgardo Morpurgo, who, as a Jew, had to cede the insurance institution's guide because of the racial laws. In the same years in which he was at the top of Confindustria he was also president of the Venice Biennale and, in this context, he was the main promoter of the 1st International Exhibition of Cinematographic Art, today known as the Venice Film Festival. For this reason, the best actor award and the best actress award (the "Volpi Cups") bear his name. Another award given by the exhibition jury, the Senate's gold medal, has its origins in its role as senator, appointed in 1922.
In the early months of 1943, sensing the formation of an increasingly broad and transversal opposition to the continuation of the war, to the alliance with Hitler, and to his own government in the political and financial summits of the country, Mussolini proceeded to a vast reshuffle of his government (among the most illustrious victims Galeazzo Ciano and Alessandro Pavolini) and removed Volpi from the presidency of Confindustria, replacing him, on 30 April with the general manager, Giovanni Balella. For this reason Volpi could not take part in the sitting of the Grand Council of Fascism (in which the president of Confindustria was sitting by right) who, on the night between 24 and 25 July, decreed the end of the regime. Of the event, Volpi was informed, apparently, only the next morning by Dino Grandi, to whom he was bound by personal friendship, and who was one of the main inspirers of the fall of the fascist regime; just then Volpi began to present the first symptoms of the disease that in a few years turned off his intellectual faculties and led him to death. He tried twice to flee to Switzerland (on 26 July and 16 October), but he did not succeed. The day before his second escape attempt, he delegated the care of his companies to Count Vittorio Cini. He was then arrested by the SS and held for a few days in the prison of Via Tasso, but given the worsening of his condition, by direct intervention of Marshall Rodolfo Graziani, was released and returned to the family.
In the post-war period he underwent a series of proceedings for his responsibilities during the Fascist regime. His state prevented him from appearing before the judges, but thanks to Amnistia Togliatti and to the testimonies in his favor of authoritative anti-fascist personalities, he was acquitted of all charges. He was among the promoters, as the owner of the SADE (Società Adriatica Di Elettricità) of the construction of the Vajont dam. He bought and restored Villa Barbaro di Maser, a sixteenth-century house by Andrea Palladio and inserted in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1996, originally owned by the Barbaro family. His funeral was celebrated by Angelo Roncalli  (future Pope John XXIII) and his tomb from 1954 is located in the Basilica dei Frari in Venice.
Giuseppe Volpi married for the first time in Florence on 8 October 1906, with the noble Nerina Pisani (who died in Rome on 29 November 1942), depicted in a painting (1906) by Vittorio Matteo Corcos, immortalized by d'Annunzio in novel "The Fire". In second marriage he married Algerian Nathalie (Natalia - Lily) El Kanoni (Leonia Kanoni or Nathalie El Kanoui), born in Oran. Giovanni Volpi was born from the union (1938).