As with any postcards published in Italy during those years, however, there is always a darker side to the story in spite of what, at first glance, looks like a simple romantic card. Issued by Turin-based publisher Fotocelere di A. Campassi during Italy's infamous Fascist decades when there was a bizarre, yet entirely serious attempt to displace the Anno Domini system with Roman numerals to denote the number of years since the establishment of the Fascist government in 1922, the postal cancellation indicates the year as "37 – XV". The sender of the postcard, however, seems to have been rather confused by this system and even gets the year wrong, mistakenly writing "31-12-936 XV" instead of "XIV"! The publisher has also dated this card – if you look very carefully you'll spot "1936 XIV" printed immediately after Via Marochetti 41 (the company address). Even the words Poste Italiane on the 10 cent postage stamp featuring the effigy of Emperor Augustus are flanked either side by a symbolic bundle of sticks featuring an axe known as “fasces” (hence “fascism”). Dark days indeed, but then again, things have been grim of late in Il Bel Paese more recently too, with a modern day wannabe dictator running the country! But I digress...
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Happy New Year and Happy Postcard Friendship Friday...the last of 2010!
Find more vintage postcards over at Beth's postcard blog The Best Hearts are Crunchy and join other collectors on Postcard Friendship Friday.