Orietta, his wife

In the winter of 1943, in northern Africa, the British Army's VIII Corps advanced after defeating the Italo-Germans in El Alamein and the fall of Tripoli was almost inevitable. Ferraro was then appointed to carry out sabotage actions in his adoptive city once the enemy had occupied it. It was not advisable to employ anyone who was foreign to the area for collaboration purposes, as they would have certainly aroused attention and suspicion.
So Ferraro suggested that they could benefit from his wife's help: they both used to live and work in Tripoli before the war broke out; their return would not raise any suspicion. He was trained for war but, by order of the Colony Governor he continued to carry out his duties as youth educator, so much so that he was called back from the front line he was about to reach. And, indeed she was a woman, and Italian women stay at home, they don't go fighting in uniform as American and British ladies do.
So, in Livorno, Orietta Ferraro started her transformation from P.E. teacher to underwater attacker.
Camouflaged as a sailor, she was picked up late in the morning every day and taken to the Navy Academy’s deserted swimming pool. Working as hard as a sailor or even harder, she got used to wearing the dive suit and the rubber wetsuit and to moving through the water by using her fins. Soon she'll start training and practicing in the sea, hours and hours of backstroke, even carrying mock limpet mines, without charges of course, but identical to the real versions in shape and form. She has less time than her husband but has to reach the same level of training. This took place for over 40 days after leaving her three year old son with his grandparents. But this was the extent of the Ferraro's family love for their home country. In 1848, Orietta's Grandad fought with Daniele Manin to defend Venice in San Marco's Republic.
Unfortunately, the fall of Tripoli took place much earlier than expected and Ferraro had to be sent away urgently without the help of his wife, who had not yet completed her training.
Ferraro himself only got as far as Zarzis (Libyan-Tunisian border) as Tripoli was occupied the day before. (1)


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Luigi and Orietta at their wedding
Luigi and Orietta at their wedding