Art historian Bernard Berenson (1865–1959) at Villa I Tatti  

An amusing story used to circulate in Florence in the late summer of 1944, a few months before the Allied armies of General Clark pushed the Germans northwards to ultimate defeat. Bernard Berenson, who had been in hiding for over a year, was finally able to walk again along the picturesque country lanes of Settignano that he knew and loved so well. On the first day out, a United States Army vehicle stopped alongside the diminutive, bearded, and impeccably attired gentleman. A G.I. leaned out and, in dreadful pidgin Italian, asked for directions. Mr. Berenson obliged, but naturally in the subtly n ...