Saturday, April 21, 2012

Il Duce's Florence

Forza Fiorentina!

Last week, "Commandante Kelly," while on spring break in Florence, had occasion to attend a soccer match featuring Fiorentina versus Palermo.  The game was a bit of a dud -- a 0 to 0 tie.  Fiorentina, of the distinctive purple jerseys, is having a truly horrendous season this year.

I did, however, learn an interesting fact about Florence's soccer stadium.  Please check out this image from Google Earth.  Do you notice anything unusual...?

Stadio Artemi Franchi
Florence, Italy

The stadium is clearly in the shape of a huge letter "D" -- a salute to Il Duce that persists in the 21st century!   Stadio Artemi Franchi was built in 1931.  History is all around us!

Let's not forget what H.L. Mencken had to say about Mussolini...

"One hears murmurs against Mussolini on the ground that he is a desperado: the real objection to him is that he is a politician. Indeed, he is probably the most perfect specimen of the genus politician on view in the world today. His career has been impeccably classical. Beginning life as a ranting Socialist of the worst type, he abjured Socialism the moment he saw better opportunities for himself on the other side, and ever since then he has devoted himself gaudily to clapping Socialists in jail, filling them with castor oil, sending blacklegs to burn down their houses, and otherwise roughing them. Modern politics has produced no more adept practitioner."

Special thanks to Matteo Pierattini for pointing this out to me!

Christopher Kelly is the co-author of Italy Invades: How Italians Conquered the World.  You can purchase a signed copy or buy a copy on

You can get the Full Italy Invades package here...

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