Rizzardo Rizzetto authored several books and articles in the late 19th century, mostly focusing on Tripolitania, the northern part of today’s Libya.
In 1881, Ruzzetto held a speech at the Società d’esplorazione commerciale in Africa (Society for Commercial exploration of Africa), where he pointed out the importance of the region for the further exploration of Africa. The speech by a “young lawyer”, which was lightened by “elegant words by the narrator” was according to the contemporary report by the Society received with a great applause (L’Esploratore, 5, Società d’esplorazione commerciale in Africa 1881, p. 143).
The speech was held in the same year France took over Tunisia, making Italy paranoid for the future of the North African coasts, once belonging to the Roman Empire.
In the book La Tripolitania quale risulta dai viaggi di Gherardo Rohlfs (Tripolitania, as it Results from the Travels of Gerhard Rohlfs) from 1883, Rizzardo Rizzetto sums up the discoveries, made in 1868-1869 by a German explorer and medical doctor Gerhard Rohlfs (1831 – 1896), who was the first European to cross Africa from Tripoli across the Sahara desert via Lake Chad. Rizzetto finds Rohlfs’s discoveries exceedingly important for the potential Italian future presence in the region, which was at the time under the Ottoman Rule. In 1911, Italy took over Tripolitania in the Italo-Turkish War.
Not only were Gerhard Rohlfs’s explorations of high significance to Italy, but he became popular on the Apennine Peninsula by stating in 1879, that he is convinced “that within a few years Tripolitania will be once more Italian”, the “once more” referring to the possession of the area under the Roman Empire (Cedric James Lowe, F. Marzari , Italian Foreign Policy, 1870-1940, 2002, p. 34).
La Tripolitania quale risulta dai viaggi di Gherardo Rohlfs was published in 1883, two years after the French takeover of Tunisia and in the year the British took control over Egypt, leaving the coast of Libya one of the rear coasts of north Africa, unconquered by the Europeans and a sitting target for Italy.
The book is rare. Worldcat only lists two examples (Biblioteca del Dipartimento di Storia Culture Civiltà, Bologna and Bibliothèque nationale de France).
References: OCLC 24388720.