The essay focuses on a momentous episode of diplomatic and religious history in the city of Fiume after the Paris Peace Conference. Fiume (in croat: Rijeka) became "free city" under the supervision of the League of Nations. But the "poet-soldier" Gabriele D'annunzio refused this decision and occupied the city, proclaiming it as a "free State" in order to ease its annexation to Italy. The case involved the Vatican, since Fiume belonged to a Croatian Diocese. Fiume's Local authorities asked the Vatican for the creation of a Fiume Italian Diocese, but this had many delicate diplomatic implications for the Vatican. Vatican diplomats, indeed, had to move on a path of national parity for Croat and Italian Catholics. Which was unacceptable to D'Annunzio. Based on Vatican and British archival sources and on other documentary sources.
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