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Once Upon A Time

484 pages7 hours


Lucio Beltrame was a young engineer full of dreams and ambition when he left Italy for Libya in 1924. He wanted to contribute his talent and hard work to building a new country, with new cities and towns and villages, in part of North Africa still living in medieval times and nomadic lifestyle. Libya had just been annexed to Italy after being taken from Turkey in 1911. Its huge territory was mostly part of the Sahara desert, but it had a fabulous coastline along the Mediterranean Sea, stretching from Tunisia to Egypt with never-ending expanses of golden beaches and picturesque rocky terrain. Lucio saw a future in that colony and wanted to make a difference. In less than twenty years he grew to be one of the largest and most successful builders in Libya, an accomplishment that earned him a place in the prestigious circle of close advisors to Mussolini. His success, however took a turn for the worse during World War Two and gave him a series of ups and downs from which he managed to recover only to fall again, till the final blow that ended forever his forty-five-year-old colonial dream. The story follows faithfully the historic events of the colonization of Libya, its eventual independence as a monarchy, and its final years under Gaddafi's dictatorship.

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