VICTOR EMMANUEL III. (1869-), King of Italy (see 28.28). When in 1915 Italy declared war on Austria, the King at once went to the war zone, remaining there until the Armistice, appointing his uncle Ferdinand, duke of Genoa, Royal Luogotenente of the kingdom to act in his stead. At the front he lived in a most unassuming manner at the “Villa Italia” near Udine, and after Caporetto near Padua, constantly visiting the trenches and the most exposed positions, as well as the military hospitals. He took the deepest interest in everything concerning the army and the welfare of the troops; but, although nominally commander-in-chief, he never interfered with the conduct of the operations nor in the matter of appointments, and he allowed himself only the same amount of leave as any other soldier. After the conclusion of the Armistice he returned to Rome on Nov. 14 1918 and had a triumphant reception. He visited Paris and the French front with the Crown Prince (Dec. 19-21), and subsequently London.
After the birth of his son and heir Umberto, Prince of Piedmont (Sept. 15 1904), the King's family was increased by two more daughters, Giovanna, born Nov. 13 1907, and Maria, born Dec. 26 1914. He was devoted to his wife and children, and to study; and he took a special interest in numismatics, having in 1910 and 1913 already published two volumes of his monumental work on the coins of Italy, the Corpus nummorum italicorum. After the war he made over to the nation a large number of royal residences in various parts of Italy, a heritage of the days when Italy was divided into a number of separate states, each with one or more royal or ducal palaces and villas. Among the most famous of these are the Pitti Palace in Florence, the villas of Castello, La Petraia and Poggio a Cajano in the neighbourhood of that town, the royal palaces of Milan, Venice, Genoa, Naples, the villa Capodimonte near Naples and the “Neapolitan Versailles” at Caserta. Some of these buildings were turned into hospitals and homes for war victims, and others into museums.