Italian Lakes: 11 Mad fascist poets

August 3, 2011

DSC_4938.jpgTo the visitor:
Are your bringing Narcissus’ Mirror?
This is leaded glass, my mask maker.
Adjust your mast to your face,
But mind that you are glass against steel.

A visit to Il Vittoriale today, one of the most eccentric residences I have ever been to. Nestling on the hill above Gardone Riviera its full name, Vittoriale dell Italiani means The shrine of Italian victories. Refurbished by the Italian Poet Gabriele d’Annunzio it is, shall we say eccentric. The garden has a light cruiser set into the hill site. You can see the motor torpedo boat he used for pleasure trips on the lake. The rooms in the house make the Victoria delight in bric a brac look positively minimalist by way of comparison.

We drove and and then queued without shade for an escorted tour, having left all bags in the cloakroom. All tours were in Italian but we had a sheet of A4 with an English summary. Now if you have to listen to any language that you do not understand, Italian is far and away the best especially at speed in a contralto voice. The poet was a fascist, but he opposed the link with the Nazis. He was a national hero so money from Mussolini to build the folly (for there is no other description for the villa) was designed to keep him away from politics in Rome. Mussolini’s reward was to be admitted to the house via the reception room for undesired guests (yes he had two reception rooms) where a poem was in scripted for his visit in 2005. The english translation heads this post.

We have a room for him to reflect on death, a room with multiple religious images, the bedrooms, even the lavatory are nothing but collections of everything from artistic to tourist tack. Only the kitchen shows any functionalism. At the end of the tour there is a museum of his military obsessions. He didn’t like the Austrians and its comes across, throughout. Its worth remembering that until the end of WW1 the north of the like was a part of the Austro-Hungarian empire. Having completed the tour, climbed to the memorial and the “ship” it was only left to admire the views of the lake from the roman style theatre (still in use). It has been called a facist lunapark and to a degree that is justified. But when you enter with all the windows covered (he was convinced he was allergic to the light), you realise that this guy was above all an individualist, an eccentric, a madman, but one with a vision while unshared is fascinating in its execution.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent Posts

About the Cynefin Company

The Cynefin Company (formerly known as Cognitive Edge) was founded in 2005 by Dave Snowden. We believe in praxis and focus on building methods, tools and capability that apply the wisdom from Complex Adaptive Systems theory and other scientific disciplines in social systems. We are the world leader in developing management approaches (in society, government and industry) that empower organisations to absorb uncertainty, detect weak signals to enable sense-making in complex systems, act on the rich data, create resilience and, ultimately, thrive in a complex world.

Cognitive Edge Ltd. & Cognitive Edge Pte. trading as The Cynefin Company and The Cynefin Centre.


Social Links: The Cynefin Company
Social Links: The Cynefin Centre
< Prev

Italian Lakes: 10 Cheesy Tourist Day

- No Comments

Cheesy tourist day was instituted by daughter and self some years ago when we ...

More posts

Next >

Italian Lakes: 12 View from the boat

- No Comments

A long planned day designed to minimise effort but maximise views. The family was now ...

More posts

linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram