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ITALY, Italia 1934 Anno XII.



A satirical map of Italy criticises the Fascist regime in the country, with unflattering notes attached to places and regions. 

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This unusual map shows Italy in year 1934, or as satirically dated Anno XII, with Sicily, Sardinia and the Slovenia and Dalmatian coast, which was given to Italy after the WWI. Marked are the steamboat lined between the coastal towns and America, mountain chains, and products famous for different regions (names of the wines, oranges, olives, lemons…).

The text describes cities and regions and directly expresses the author’s disagreement with contemporary political situation in Italy.

The date “Anno XII” on the top refers to the new Fascist dates – in the era fascista the year was to begin on October 29, the day after the anniversary of the March on Rome. The years were to be counted from 1922 according to a Roman numeral, and the Gregorian calendar was deemed as being bourgeois.

Castel Gandolfo, south-east of Rome, is described as “Pope Pius XI summer home and chicken farm”, Calabria as “48 per cent illiterate”, Sicily “has the worst labor conditions in Italy – Sulphur”, Sardinia: “Dialect incomprehensible to Italians. Fascist officers must wear coats of Sardinian cloth to help Sardinian Industry”, Lake Garda: “Here d’Annunzio lives in exile – dabbles in metaphysics and plays with his own warship”,…

The map was published as a double-page illustration to an anti-Fascist article in an American magazine, of which two pages are printed on the back.  

The author of the map LeRoy H. Appleton was a popular American graphic designer and illustrator, active from the 1930s on. His illustrations with slightly satirical note were published in magazines of the time. As an illustrator he was also co-author of a book American Indian Design and Decoration, still reprinted today.  

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Place and Year