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This is the 22nd in my series of reviews of century-old National Geographic Magazines.



As you can see from the cover, there is only one article in this issue and it is all about Italy.  It is written by Arthur Stanley Riggs.  From Italy sprang not only the Roman Empire and the Catholic Church, but also the Renaissance which started the modern age of enlightenment.

The geography of the country is discussed.  Being a peninsula, it is surrounded by water on three sides and protected by mountains in the north.  The different regions of the county are discussed briefly and then a tour of the country, region by region is given.  A map of Italy appears on page 360 to help with the tour.

Photo courtesy of Philip Rivirere.

Starting with the islands of the west, Gorgona, Capraia, Elba, Ponzas, Ischia, Procida, Capri, and the Lipari Isles the tour moves to the larger islands: Sardinia and Corsica (French), and last but not least Sicily.

Then it’s on to the mainland.  The tour starts in Southern Italy, in the region of Campania.  We swing from Naples down to Salerno.  Next, down to the town of Palmi in the region of Calabrie on the boot’s toe.  We then move to central Italy starting with Rome and its environs.  Much of the Rome ruins are discussed, as are the many churches and other architectural features.

The tour then moves north to the region of Umbria and the city of Perugia and on to Assisi.  Northwest of Umbria we come to Tuscany starting with the city of Florence, birthplace of the Renaissance.  We pass through the Etruscan city of Volterra, with its ancient, 40-foot tall and 1- foot thick stone walls, on our way to Siena.  Then it’s on to the maritime power of yore, Pisa.

We then head east across the peninsula to the Adriatic coast and the region of The Marches with its seaport, Ancona.  Heading north up the coast we pass through Pesaro and Rimini until we reach Ravenna.  From The Marches we head northwest to the city of Bologna in the region of Emilia.  Then on to Ferrara, the first “modern city”.  At this point Venice is touched on with a reference to the June 1915 National Geographic article “Venice” by Karl Stieler.

Continuing northwest we come to the city of Milan in the region of Lombardy.  In Lombardy, the many lakes of the southern Alps are mentioned and a reference is made again to the June 1915 National Geographic.  This time for the article entitled “Frontier Cities of Italy” by Florence Craig Albrecht.

West of Lombardy is the mountainous region, Piedmont.  Along its southern coast is the Riviera, the “garden wall of Europe.  Along the Riviera is the port city of Genoa, the last main stop on the tour.

The article ends with the Italian participation in the Great War but only in passing.  And with a tribute to all that Italy has given the world and a hope for more in the future.



Tom Wilson

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Thanks Phil, These are great!

look, some more leaning towers . . . and Pisa gets all the glory eh.

if memory serves, this is the only all-Italy issue there is for NGM...

And one more from Phil:

Note: I just added a map referenced by the article in this review. (Thanks Phil.)



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