ITALY: Form Letter

Sleek and slinky Countess Pia Bellentani was an amateur poetess and a woman of passion. She had long regarded her relations with the middle-aged count, her husband, as a "purely formal duty." Her friend Carlo Sacchi the silk merchant was an amateur poet as well and only slightly less passionate. In Italy's caviar and champagne set during the early '40s, the two made a neatly rhymed couplet, and even Signora Sacchi nodded at their idyl on the theory that it was only a "passing passion."

From Countess Pia's point of view, however, it passed too fast. By 1948, her poetry...

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