The iPad version of a book featuring photos and recipes favored by Italy’s fascist dictator Benito Mussolini sits at the number two spot of the top paid apps in Italy’s iTunes store.
Titled “A Tavola con Il Duce” (literally: sitting at the table with Il Duce), the €0.79 ($0.99) book is currently available only in the Italian language but can be purchased in the US and other international iTunes stores.
Promising never-before published anecdotes and pictures from Mussolini’s daily life, it is the iPad version of the 2004 book written by Sophia Loren’s sister, Maria Scicolone, who was married to il Duce’s son Romano Mussolini.
The iPad version of the book, launched August 8, soon made its way to the top spot of the Italian iTunes store. At this writing it was kept from the no. 1 spot by game N.O.V.A. Alessandro Risuleo, developer of “A Tavola con il Duce” has some 31 other iPad apps available, ranging from 100 sexy things to do in Rome to a lush coffee table book on artist Caravaggio.
This may be the first controversial figure to make its way to the iPad. Mussolini apps, featuring his speeches and notable quotes, first stormed the Italian iTunes store for iPhone and while they were contested, one was pulled briefly over copyright issues but despite Holocaust survivor protests the offending apps were reinstated.
Similar apps for other lightning rod figures including Spanish dictator Franco and Che Guevara soon followed. All these apps were approved by international iTunes stores but are available outside their home countries.
There does seem to be a double standard for quote apps of controversial figures: the US iTunes store features six apps of Dalai Lama teachings and quotes, but these were all removed from China’s iTunes store leading to cries of censorship. (For the moment the world is safe from an iHitler app. Luigi Marino, who developed the iMussolini app, tried and failed to get an app about the German leader approved.)
So far, Mussolini’s gastronomical preferences haven’t stirred up protests the way the app with his speeches did. One satisfied customer, CatilinaLex, said about “A Tavola con il Duce:” “This book definitely impressed me. It’s easy and relaxing to read but also provides food for thought. …Very good!”
Hat tip to Andrea Nepori