Lina Waterfield


Lina Waterfield (1874-1964) was a British journalist, writer, and correspondent from Italy for "The Observer" and "Sunday Times." Waterfield’s parents died during her childhood, so she grew up with her uncles in the Tuscan countryside and was therefore a neighbor of Vernon Lee and friend of Bernard Berenson and his wife Mary Smith. In 1902, she married painter Aubrey Waterfield, with whom she traveled around Italy, researching for her travel books. During World War I, to counter the effects of anti-English propaganda spread by Italian socialists, Waterfield founded a bookstore and center for Englishmen in Florence, an association that would later become the British Institute of Florence, an important Florentine institution.


She became a correspondent from Italy interviewed Mussolini several times for "The Observer" during the early 1920s. In her articles, she took a firm stance and clearly described the brutal crimes of Fascism without discount, which is why she was fired in 1935 from the newspaper, which wanted to keep relations with Italy as relaxed as possible. In Tuscany, she lived in the Fortezza della Brunella, which she restored with her husband, and at which she wrote several books on travel, history, art. She also directed a school in Poggio Gherardo.