Viale Liegi 6 is the address once shared by writers Massimo Bontempelli and Paola Masino. There’s a commemorative plaque outside the building with the inscription “The only instrument of our work will be the imagination.”
Way before Garcia Marquez wrote magical realism in Spanish, Massimo Bontempelli was writing it in Italian. He became even more magical in 1927 when he met Paola Masino. Despite the 30 year age difference and the strong objections of her parents, the two began a love story and literary collaboration. Paola, writer, translator, and librettist loved card games (she often played “scopone” with Pirandello) and convinced many of her artist friends to make playing cards for her. These artists included Alberto Burri, Carlo Carrà, Renato Guttuso, Massimo Campigli, and Carla Accardi.
When Paola and Bontempelli decided they no longer wanted to be fascists, they had to leave Rome. After Mussolini’s downfall they went back and started the magazine «Città» with the collaboration of Alberto Moravia, Alberto Savinio, and others.
Bontempelli died in 1960. Paola was only 52. She kept herself busy putting Bontempelli’s papers in order, translating French authors, and writing in her diary. Then silence. Paola was still living at Viale Liegi 6 when she died in 1989 at the age of 81.
Related: LE CARTE DA GIOCO + Paola Masino: l’album segreto della scrittrice che racconta lo stile di un epoca + RAI la scacchiera davanti allo specchio + Birth and Death of the Housewife by Paola Masina pdf + «Album di vestiti» Paola Masino (1908-1989) ci lascia una sua autobiografia raccontata (in maniera splendida) attraverso gli abiti indossati.
Bontempelli and Paola lived previously at Corso Trieste 112 not far from Pirandello’s home