Open main menu

Count Edgardo Pietro Andrea Sogno Rata del Vallino di Ponzone (29 December 1915 – 5 August 2000) was an Italian diplomat, partisan and political figure. He was born in an aristocratic family from Piedmont.

Edgardo Sogno del Vallino di Ponzone
Edgardo Sogno 1970.jpg
Member of Italian Chamber of Deputies
In office
2 June 1946 – 7 June 1953
Personal details
Born(1915-12-29)29 December 1915
Camandona, Piedmont, Italy
Died5 August 2000(2000-08-05) (aged 84)
Turin, Piedmont, Italy
Political partyItalian Liberal Party (1946–1956)
Independent (1956–1996)
National Alliance (1996–2000)
Spouse(s)Anna Arborio Mella
ChildrenSofia, Nanina
ResidenceTourin, Italy
Alma materPolytechnic University of Turin
NATO Defense College
AwardsGold Medal of Military Valour
Bronze Star Medal
SignatureCursive signature in ink
Military service
Nickname(s)Franco Franchi, "Eddy"
Allegiance Kingdom of Italy
Branch/service Royal Italian Army
Years of service1933–1945
RankRank insignia of tenete of the Army of Italy (1973).svg Leutnant
Unit3rd Cavalry Division Amedeo Duca d'Aosta
Battles/warsSpanish Civil War
Italian Campaign
Italian Civil War


Under FascismEdit

Sogno was born in Piedmont. He joined the Italian military at 18 and was named sublieutenant in the regiment Nizza Cavalleria. After graduating in jurisprudence, he volunteered for Benito Mussolini's auxiliary units which fought in the Spanish Civil War in 1938 on the Francoist side.

He then became collaborator of the Minister of Foreign Affairs in 1940 during World War II. He achieved two other diplomas in Rome and started frequenting some antifascist circles, which included Benedetto Croce and Giaime Pintor.

He was called by the army in 1942 to go to Vichy France. However, he was arrested a year later on charges of high treason for having publicly predicted the victory of the United States. A monarchist, he was then close to the Italian Liberal Party (PLI), and he became representative of the PLI at the National Liberation Committee (Comitato di Liberazione Nazionale). He created the Partisan group Organizzazione Franchi and earned a gold medal for his acts, helping hundreds of Italian Jews and others seek safe haven in Switzerland.[1]

After the warEdit

Edgardo Sogno as military in 1940s.

After the Liberation, he founded the Corriere Lombardo newspaper as well as Costume. Edgardo Sogno was then elected deputy to the Constituent Assembly during the 1946 general election. He contested the June 2, 1946 referendum creating the Republic of Italy, deposing numerous appeals before the Corte di Cassazione in the aim of repealing the results of the vote (and restore monarchy). Although this failed, he became diplomat of the new regime, first in Buenos Aires where Juan Peron was head of state, then in Paris, London, Washington DC and, last, he was ambassador in Rangoon. While posted to Budapest, Hungary, in 1956, he helped people flee the country after the Soviet Union invaded Hungary and crushed the Hungarian Revolution.[2]

He returned to Italy in 1971, where he founded the Comitati di Resistenza Democratica (Committee of Democratic Resistance), an anti-communist organization of the political center. Three years later, he was accused by the communist magistrate Luciano Violante of having planned, along with Luigi Cavallo and Randolfo Pacciardi, the Golpe bianco ("white coup d'etat"), a supposed coup. Following a year and a half of prison, he was freed in 1978, the investigative magistrate declaring that he was in the impossibility to proceed in the trial. He was later completely exonerated for attempting to plot a coup.[1][3][4]

Liberal, monarchist, then admirer of Charles de Gaulle, Edgardo Sogno returned to politics only in 1996, as candidate to the Italian Senate, in Cuneo, for the National Alliance (Alleanza Nazionale) party founded by Gianfranco Fini. Failing to be elected, he retired to private life.

In his 1998 memoirs, Sogno revealed how he had visited the CIA station chief in Rome in July 1974 to inform him of his plans for an anti-communist coup. He wrote: "I told him that I was informing him as an ally in the struggle for the freedom of the west and asked him what the attitude of the American government would be," and then: "He answered what I already knew: the United States would have supported any initiative tending to keep the communists out of government."[5]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "Edgardo Sogno, Italian resistance fighter and fierce anti-communist, dies". Associated Press. 2000-08-06.
  2. ^ "Diplomat battled Italian communism". The Globe and Mail. 2000-08-09.
  3. ^ "Italian plot never existed". The Times. 1978-09-14.
  4. ^ Angelo Codevilla (1992). "A Second Italian Republic?". Foreign Affairs. 73 (3): 146–164.
  5. ^ Philip Willan, The Guardian, March 26, 2001 Terrorists 'helped by CIA' to stop rise of left in Italy (in English)


  • Guerra senza bandiera. Milan: Rizzoli. 1950.
  • Due fronti (1998), memoirs ("Two Fronts", two accounts of the Spanish Civil War, one from the Francist side and Sogno, the other from Nino Isaia who took part to the International Brigades) EAN : 9788882700041
  • La grande utopia: I confini delleconomia, della natura, della morale Sugarco (1982) ASIN: B0000ECLR6
  • De Gaulle: La spada appesa al filo Bietti (1997) ISBN 978-88-8248-005-9