ITALY: Eh, Well

Four weeks ago, canny Giovanni Vis-conti-Venosta, Premier Bonomi's Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs, got tired of trying to work through the Roman dusk by candle and carbide light.* One afternoon when Britain's High Commissioner, prim Sir Noel Charles, was to call, Visconti-Venosta personally ordered every candle and sputtering carbide light in the Palazzo Chigi doused. Sir Noel walked into Stygian gloom, groped his way through the Chigi's interminable passages and waiting rooms, conferred ghost-to-ghost with Visconti-Venosta. whose face never cracked a smile. Next day Visconti-Venosta wrote Sir Noel a note reviewing the discussions: "As we were saying yesterday in...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!