Of Romanesque origin, represented the religious point of reference of the countryside area before the new town was founded.
Here in the little cemetery, was buried Benito’s mother. With new Predappio’s foundation, Mussolini decided to reunite his parents’ remains (his father was buried in Forlì) and to build a Memorial Chapel for his relatives with the will to give a monumental aspect to it.
The new structure, that incorporated the previous small cemetery, was realised by the architect Florestano Di Fausto, from 1928 to 1933, around the Mussolini family’s chapel where the remains of Alessandro Mussolini and Rosa Maltoni were reunited. The enlargement of the cemetery was organised through the implementation of an enclosed porch, set on a quadrangular plant parallel to the provincial road to Premilcuore. An ascending path alongside the diagonal of the enclosure prospectively connects the main entrance to the family chapel. On the other diagonal, entrance’s left, rise the apse of San Cassiano’s church, rebuilt from 1930 to 1934 by the superintendents C. Icchia and L. Corsini of Medieval art and Modern art of Emilia Romagna. And the other bell tower inaugurated on 1935.
Starting the descent inside the Crypt there is a sign with the words “SILENCE”, as it’s a sacred place and must be respected. There is also a plate with the inscription of the Duce that says:
"I WOULD BE NAÏVE IF I WOULD ASK TO BE LEFT ALONE IN PEACE ONCE DEAD. AROUND THE GRAVES OF LEADERS WHO BROUGHT GREAT TRANSFORMATION, WHICH ARE CALLED REVOLUTIONS, THERE CANNOT BE PEACE. BUT EVERYTHING THAT WAS DONE WILL NEVER BE UNDONE. WHILE MY SPIRIT NOW FREED FROM MATTER, WILL LIVE AFTER THE LITTLE EARTHLY LIFE THE IMMORTAL AND UNIVERSAL LIFE OF GOD. I ONLY HAVE A WISH; TO BE BURIED NEXT TO MY PARENTS IN SAN CASSIANO’S CEMETERY"
It was originally located in the Chapel. In 1975,
year in which Donna Rachele obtained the concession
perpetual, was moved to the entrance to the Crypt.
Donna Rachele donated in exchange the wooden benches, the Altar and the cast bronze sculpture of the replica of Michelangelo's Pietà found in the Basilica of the Vatican to the Municipality of Predappio.
In the main hall where there are five sarcophagi made in rough carved stone, adorned
at the vertices by four fasces lictors (unfortunately damaged over time). Perpendicularly there is Benito Mussolini’s one,
at the centre of a smaller sub crypt.
On the semi-circular walls, in the back, there is a white marble bust (created by Moschi) with two small display cases per side, which respectively guard his sharpshooter’s hat used during the First World War, his black shirt used during the “Marcia su Roma”, a stone urn containing a sample of his brain tissue and the boots worn at the time
of his death. On the right side, at the top, stands the bronze metal reproduction of the autograph letter “M”. In the Crypt are buried 14 people, that is four family generations.
The first evidence of the church dates back to the ninth century AD, the building has undergone numerous changes and renovations over time, was also declared a national monument during the fascist era in 1934. Inside, it preserves the baptismal font in which Benito Mussolini was baptized on 30th July 1883. The Crypt, the apse and the foundations remain from the ancient structure, the reconstruction strongly desired by Mussolini has restored the characteristics of a Romanesque temple, divided into three naves
Located inside the Basilica of San Cassiano, “Benito Mussolini was baptized at this sacred source on 30th July 1883" as the plaque on it says
Cum sociis natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. Fusce dapibus, tellus ac cursus commodo, tortor mauris condimentum nibh, ut fermentum massa justo sit amet risus. Nullam id dolor id nibh ultricies vehicula ut id elit.