ITALY: Man of the Mountains

Until he reached middle age, he persisted in his favorite sport of mountain climbing. Then one day, as he was descending a dangerous peak, his rope jammed, and he went plunging downward to dangle helplessly over a deep chasm. "For 20 minutes I could not move," Alcide de Gasped recalled later. "Then I swung over to a ridge and was safe. Well, I was 54 then, and I decided I had better give up climbing. But looking back, it had been a good school for political fighting."

Both politics and mountain climbing seemed...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

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 TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

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