National Geographic : 1936 Sep
SOJOURNING IN THE ITALY OF TODAY © Donald McLeish VENICE'S WINGED LION OF ST. MARK PERCHES ON A COLUMN OVERLOOKING GONDOLAS AND WARSHIPS The bronze image may be of ancient Assyrian origin, but the wings are modern. Napoleon took the lion and the four bronze horses of St. Mark's Cathedral (page 393) to Paris, the treasures being returned after the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. Near this terrace of the Old Library is a corner of the Doges' Palace, left. Lake of Garda that D'Annunzio, Italy's gifted son and occasional thorn in the flesh, lives in royal and capricious isolation on a large estate which he acquired after the war. SMALL FARMER IS BACKBONE OF ITALY It is apparent to anyone who has trav eled over even a quarter of Italy why the mass of the population must toil from sunup to sundown to wrest from the earth a bare subsistence. Thousands of miles are taken up by imposing mountain ranges, grandiose, magnificent to the eye, but many of them treeless, barren, and good only for winter sports. If it were not for the rapidly increasing population, the American immigration laws of a few years ago which closed the door to many Italians, and the present government policy forbidding Italians to leave the country except for the best of reasons, the lot of the peasant would be perfectly en durable according to his lights. This would be a standard of life unthinkable to most Americans. The Italian peasant, backbone of Italy, sees few newspapers and no magazines, barring an occasional seed catalogue. What Italian magazines there may be would only make his sleep the sounder. They would be almost devoid of the advertisements which fill American magazines and show that life cannot be lived without an automobile, an electric ice chest, an electric egg beater, an electric razor, and a thousand and one other things.