ITALY: Lord of Earth

At the head of it all is God, lord of heaven.

Then comes Prince Torlonia, lord of earth.

Then comes the armed guard of Prince Torlonia.

Then comes the hounds of the armed guard of Prince Torlonia.

Then nobody else. And still nobody else.

And still again nobody else.

Then come the farmers . . .

—Ignacio Silone, Fontamara

The first noteworthy member of the Torlonia family (which came from France to Italy in the 18th Century) was Giovanni, a rag & bone merchant who became one of Europe's greatest financiers, lent money to kings and even to Napoleon's high-living kin....

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