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...

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!