"On the soles of my shoes, the heels of my boots I carry the earth of the Abruzzi, the mud of my estuary. When I find myself amongst strangers, isolated, different, wildly hostile, I sit down, cross my legs and gently shake my foot, which to me seems weighty with that ground, that bit of earth, that moist sand, and it is like the weight of a piece of armour—an iron defence." —Gabriele d'Annunzio, Suo se pondere firmat (Its very weight adds firmness). Quoted from Gabriele d'Annunzio: Defiant Archangel by John Woodhouse, Clarendon Press, 1998, p. 9.
"Born in March of 1863, D’Annunzio died in March of 1938. Historical circumstances effectively placed him between two worlds and perhaps, this serves to explain the many contradictions in his character. He was a passionate conservationist: he invented the term “cultural goods” (“beni culturali”) and the notion that these should be protected by a ministry of the State. And yet, no artist or writer embraced the turning of the 19th Century and the dramatic onslaught of modernity with quite the same vigor and energy. D’Annunzio was interested in science and technology, in sexuality and freedom, in women and fashion, in architecture, gardens and airplanes, ships and military offences, poetry and Nietzsche. He wanted to be a Prince and yet he founded a Republic in which women could vote and hold elected office almost 30 years before those rights would be recognized in Italy. He cultivated a monastic life-style and yet he continued to write, love and collect things with unyielding frenzy. He lived for luxury but insisted on the essential simplicity of beauty."("The Secret Life of Gabriele D'Annunzio: a New Exhibit at NYU's Casa Italiana" by Inga Pierson, i-italy.org, Oct 10, 2010)