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With an honest, unprejudiced pen Ritanna Armeni breaks down taboos and tells the story of an ordinary person, a young woman who believed in Mussolini, a Fascist woman.

Born in 1920, Mara is thirteen when this story begins. She lives in Rome. Her father is a shopkeeper, her mother a housewife. Her best friend Nadia, a staunch Fascist, takes her to hear Mussolini in Piazza Venezia unbeknown to her parents. She is a girl like so many others, who enjoys reading and wants to be a writer or a journalist when she grows up. She harbours many dreams and hopes: to study Latin literature and become beautiful and independent like her aunt Luisa, with her small hats and her quick, confident step. The future seems within reach, safe under the eyes of the Duce, displayed between two armchairs in her lounge. This is what Mara thinks of Benito Mussolini, and so do many other Italians who rush to stand beneath the balcony in Piazza Venezia. That is until doubt worms its way in, producing little cracks, opening wounds and altering individual and collective fates. Telling the stories of women, their desire for freedom, emancipation, revolution but also love, tenderness, a family, knowledge and wholeness. This is where Ritanna Armeni’s true talent lies.

Genre: Narrative

Publishing house:

Ponte alle Grazie

Year of publication: 2020

Published in: Milano

Number of pages: 304

Price: 16.80

ISBN: 9788833313146

Foreign rights manager: Viviana Vuscovich

Premi: Di questo amore non si deve sapere – Premio Comisso for non-fiction


Ritanna Armeni

Ritanna Armeni (1948) is a writer and journalist; she was editor in chief of “Noi Donne” and worked for the “Manifesto”, “Rinascita” and “L’Unità”. With Ponte alle Grazie she has published Di questo amore non si deve sapere (rights sold: Siria, Portugal and Russia). In 2018 she published Una donna può tutto (Ponte alle Grazie; rights sold: Russia and Brasil).

Other translations:
Di questo amore non si deve sapere, Una donna può tutto