Italiani sulle montagne del mondo* by Mario Fantin. Bologna: Capelli Editore, 1967. 137 photos, 36 maps. Price: L. 12,000.
Signor Fantin is an Italian mountaineer who has traveled in all five continents, not only climbing, but also collecting information, maps and photographs. He founded the Centro Italiano Studio Documentazione Alpinismo Extra-europeo, an institution which has published a number of monographs of mountain ranges and of climbing history. The newest and most ambitious publication of the Centro is this massive volume, produced by Signor Fantin singlehanded. In it, the accounts and descriptions of expeditions outside their Italian homeland have been concentrated. The work is dedicated to the memory of Italy’s foremost mountain explorer, the Duke of the Abbruzzi, and appropriately, the first set of photographs, by Vittorio Sella, describes his expeditions. The author moves from one continent to another, surveying the activity of the Italians in every mountain range of the world outside continental Europe. More than a hundred photographs, most of them by Signor Fantin himself, complement the narrative; particularly attractive are those of Greenland and the Urubamba district of Peru. If anything remains to be desired, it is bibliography, although its compilation would have entailed an enormous amount of research in Italian periodicals and newspapers. The tenseness of nationalism, peculiar to this kind of book, is broken in this case by the vivacious style and the warm humor of Signor Fantin. The author has promised us future publications, all descriptive of the great mountain ranges of the world. Because of the amount of information gathered by Signor Fantin and for the abundance of photographs, his publications are recommended.
Evelio A. EchevarrÍa
* A supplement was published in September, 1968, which brings the original volume up to date.