Italian writer Antonio Pennacchi dies aged 71

Pennacchi won Italy's Strega Prize for his novel Canale Mussolini.

The Italian writer Antonio Pennacchi died on the evening of 3 August, aged 71, the Mondadori publishing house announced.

Pennacchi, died at home in Latina, the seaside town south of Rome where he was born in 1950 and spent his entire life.

A factory worker until the age of 50, Pennacchi was always politically active, making the momentous journey from fascism in his youth to communism in his later years.

His experiences led him to write Il fascicomunista (2003), his first novel, which was the basis for the 2007 hit movie Mio fratello è figlio unico (My Brother Is an Only Child).

Elio Germano and Riccardo Scamarcio in Mio fratello è figlio unico.

In 2010 Pennacchi won the Premio Strega, Italy’s most prestigious literary prize, for Canale Mussolini, a novel about the fascist-era reclamation of the Pontine Marshes south of Rome, and the migration of people from the northern Veneto and Friuli regions to the newly-built cities of Latina and Sabaudia.

Often referred to as the "fasciocomunista", Pennacchi was known for his trademark hat and red scarf.

Italian culture minister Dario Franceschini paid tribute to him last night as "the first, great narrator of an Italy that until our days had been forgotten."