National Geographic : 1961 Nov
PAINTING BY PIETROALDI IN 1 My photographer friend James P. Blair and I motored in an Italian-made Fiat auto, touring the country from the beaches on the Italian boot toe to the tunnel being driven through Mont Blanc to France, and from the Tyrrhe nian Sea to the Adriatic. (See the ten-color Atlas Map, Italy, distributed to members with this issue.) Land of Warmth and Hard Work Not for the first time - for we both had been here before - we fell in love with Italy, as who doesn't? We found her beautiful and, because our love was obvious, warm and friendly in response. We found her booming and prosperous, a special pleasure for me who had known her in time of war. We watched her craftsmen, architects, engineers, artists, and fashion de signers at work, an inspiration to both of us, 596 for here was the fountainhead of the "Italian look," at its best a modern standard for ele gance and good taste. We did not find the "miracle" some see in the postwar surge of Italy to world eminence. We found, instead, Dr. Ruggero Gastaldi, young manager of the Necchi sewing-ma chine firm, in his office with his sleeves rolled up and his beautifully tailored suit coat on a hanger. We saw Neapolitan girls, long be lieved too clumsy for anything but picking oranges and tending babies, skillfully assem bling Olivetti typewriters. The miracle turns out to be hard work, performed by a people whose skills and love of beauty are the legacies of ancient Greece, Rome, Florence, Urbino, Venice.* Today they are free, these Italians, to fol *See "Venice, City of Twilight Splendor," by Joe Alex Morris, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC, April, 1961.