The roads round the office are closed today and tomorrow while soldiers square-bash in the sports ground next door. Piano! Piano!! (Softly! Softly!!) screams the drill master through his megaphone, while the incessant thump of the drums bounces off our walls. All this in preparation for the Festa dell’Esercito Italiano (Celebration of the Italian Army) next week.
The sound of things martial reminded me that 60 years ago today, Mussolini met his end and was then strung up like a chicken in Piazzale Loreto, Milan, on the same spot where 15 partisans had been executed two years earlier.
The infamous photo is attributed to the father of former Benetton enfant provocateur, Oliviero Toscani.
For a superb personal account of the times, read A Childhood in Nazi-Occupied Italy.
On a lighter note, it feels like summer is well on its way with glorious cerulean skies and the first sightings of sunblistered tourists.