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It Always Rains in Rome

Length: 131 pages3 hours


This story is set in a small Tuscan hilltown, and the action takes place towards the end of the Second World War. The violent action of war has left the town intact, but to cover their inevitable retreat, the Germans consider it necessary to blow up the fourteenth-century bridge for which the townspeople have a deep love, and on which their whole life depends. Its destruction would cause the river to flood and wash away the soil.

In the desperate hope of preventing the calamity (and also to help save his own skin), the little Fascist mayor, despised by the people and the Germans alike, seeks a secret parley with the partisans, and asks them to persuade the British to frustrate the German plans. The communist partisan leader is deeply suspicious of this approach by the turncoat mayor, on whom he has long sworn revenge. But what really mortifies the mayor is that the British are planning to destroy the bridge themselves!—and the partisans are bound to support them.

From this point the story becomes one hilarious fiasco of cross purposes, ludicrous incidents, and conflicting personalities, who all fail to achieve their ends owing to their national characteristics—the Germans owing to their attention to detail, the British to their casualness, and the Italians to....

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