Italy
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Machiavelli in Hell
Machiavelli in Hell
Paperback      ISBN: 0679743421

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize

In this intellectual biography, Sebastian de Grazia presents a new vision of Machiavelli that evokes, with uncanny precision, the great Florentine thinker's presence. After providing an engrossing account of Machiavelli's childhood and the period following his imprisonment and torture, the book turns to an examination of The Prince. The details of Machiavelli's life never cease to weave in and out of the narrative, as we read how his ideas gather power and coalesce into a unified vision of humankind and the world.

"De Grazia's achievement is to present a totally comprehensive view of Machiavelli mediated entirely through Machiavelli's own language."--Journal of Modern History
Venice Observed
Venice Observed
Paperback      ISBN: 015693521x

A penetrating work of reportage on Venice. "Searching observations and astonishing comprehension of the Venetian taste and character" (New York Herald Tribune).

No Vulgar Hotel: The Desire And Pursuit of Venice
No Vulgar Hotel
The Desire And Pursuit of Venice
Hardcover      ISBN: 0393059324

Wishing that the movie stars in films set in Venice would move aside so that you can get a better view of the scenery.
Wondering why people ask if you had good weather when you were thereas if rain could dampen your love.
Thinking that people who go to Tuscany or Provence must be nuts.
Believing that the "Per San Marco" street sign with arrows pointing in opposite directions makes perfect sense.
Consoling yourself when you leave by remembering the generations of Venetian merchants who, as they were borne away from Venice, vowed to be back as soon as they had more money.

There is no cure for this affliction. This is a guide to managing it.
Sprezzatura: 50 Ways Italian Genius Shaped the World
Sprezzatura
50 Ways Italian Genius Shaped the World
Paperback      ISBN: 038572019x

A witty, erudite celebration of fifty great Italian cultural achievements that have significantly influenced Western civilization from the authors of What Are the Seven Wonders of the World?

"Sprezzatura," or the art of effortless mastery, was coined in 1528 by Baldassare Castiglione in The Book of the Courtier. No one has demonstrated effortless mastery throughout history quite like the Italians. From the Roman calendar and the creator of the modern orchestra (Claudio Monteverdi) to the beginnings of ballet and the creator of modern political science (Niccol Machiavelli), Sprezzatura highlights fifty great Italian cultural achievements in a series of fifty information-packed essays in chronological order.

The House of Medici
The House of Medici
Paperback      ISBN: 0688053394

It was a dynasty with more wealth, passion, and power than the houses of Windsor, Kennedy, and Rockefeller combined. It shaped all of Europe and controlled politics, scientists, artists, and even popes, for three hundred years. It was the house of Medici, patrons of Botticelli, Michelangelo and Galileo, benefactors who turned Florence into a global power center, and then lost it all.

The House of Medici picks up where Barbara Tuchman's Hibbert delves into the lives of the Medici family, whose legacy of increasing self-indulgence and sexual dalliance eventually led to its self-destruction. With twenty-four pages of black-and-white illustrations, this timeless saga is one of Quill's strongest-selling paperbacks.

The Black Prince of Florence: The Spectacular Life and Treacherous World of Alessandro De' Medici
The Black Prince of Florence
The Spectacular Life and Treacherous World of Alessandro De' Medici
Hardcover      ISBN: 019061272x

Ruler of Florence for seven bloody years, 1531 to 1537, Alessandro de' Medici was arguably the first person of color to serve as a head of state in the Western world. Born out of wedlock to a dark-skinned maid and Lorenzo de' Medici, he was the last legitimate heir to the line of Lorenzo the Magnificent. When Alessandro's noble father died of syphilis, the family looked to him. Groomed for power, he carved a path through the backstabbing world of Italian politics in a time when cardinals, popes, and princes vied for wealth and advantage. By the age of nineteen, he was prince of Florence, inheritor of the legacy of the grandest dynasty of the Italian Renaissance.

Alessandro faced down family rivalry and enormous resistance from Florence's oligarchs, who called him a womanizer-which he undoubtedly was--and a tyrant. Yet this real-life counterpart to Machiavelli's Prince kept his grip on power until he was assassinated at the age of 26 during a late-night tryst arranged by his scheming cousins. After his death, his brief but colorful reign was criticized by those who had murdered him in a failed attempt to restore the Florentine republic. For the first time, the true story is told in The Black Prince of Florence.

Catherine Fletcher tells the riveting tale of Alessandro's unexpected rise and spectacular fall, unraveling centuries-old mysteries, exposing forgeries, and bringing to life the epic personalities of the Medicis, Borgias, and others as they waged sordid campaigns to rise to the top. Drawing on new research and first-hand sources, this biography of a most intriguing Renaissance figure combines archival scholarship with discussions of race and class that are still relevant today.
Baroque Naples and the Industry of Painting: The World in the Workbench
Baroque Naples and the Industry of Painting
The World in the Workbench
Hardcover      ISBN: 0300174500

The second largest city in 17th-century Europe, Naples constituted a vital Mediterranean center in which the Spanish Habsburgs, the clergy, and Neapolitan aristocracy, together with the resident merchants, and other members of the growing professional classes jostled for space and prestige. Their competing programs of building and patronage created a booming art market and spurred painters such as Jusepe de Ribera, Massimo Stanzione, Salvator Rosa, and Luca Giordano as well as foreign artists such as Caravaggio, Domenichino, Artemisia Gentileschi, and Giovanni Lanfranco to extraordinary heights of achievement. This new reading of 17th-century Italian Baroque art explores the social, material, and economic history of painting, revealing how artists, agents, and the owners of artworks interacted to form a complex and mutually sustaining art world. Through such topics as artistic rivalry and anti-foreign labor agitation, art dealing and forgery, cultural diplomacy, and the rise of the independently arranged art exhibition, Christopher R. Marshall illuminates the rich interconnections between artistic practice and patronage, business considerations, and the spirit of entrepreneurialism in Baroque Italy.

The City of Florence: Historical Vistas and Personal Sightings
The City of Florence
Historical Vistas and Personal Sightings
Paperback      ISBN: 0805046305

A New York Times Notable Book

In this deeply personal and learned labor of love, R.W.B. Lewis provides a new look at the glories of Florence, the smallish Tuscan city which has been a prime source for modern Western culture and which has also been his second home for fifty years. With a scholar's eye and a lover's passion, he invites us to share his vision of a city and the way of life it has engendered and inspired.

Lidia's Italy: 140 Simple and Delicious Recipes from the Ten Places in Italy Lidia Loves Most: A Cookbook
Lidia's Italy: 140 Simple and Delicious Recipes from the Ten Places in Italy Lidia Loves Most
A Cookbook
Hardcover      ISBN: 1400040361
Featuring 140 mouthwatering new recipes, a gastronomic journey of the Italian regions that have inspired and informed Lidia Bastianich's legendary cooking.

For the home cook and the armchair traveler alike, Lidia's Italy offers a short introduction to ten regions of Italy--from Piemonte to Puglia--with commentary on nearby cultural treasures by Lidia's daughter Tanya, an art historian.

- In Istria, now part of Croatia, where Lidia grew up, she forages again for wild asparagus, using it in a delicious soup and a frittata; Sauerkraut with Pork and Roast Goose with Mlinzi reflect the region's Middle European influences; and buzara, an old mariner's stew, draws on fish from the nearby sea.

- From Trieste, Lidia gives seafood from the Adriatic, Viennese-style breaded veal cutlets and Beef Goulash, and Sacher Torte and Apple Strudel.

- From Friuli, where cows graze on the rich tableland, comes Montasio cheese to make fricos; the corn fields yield polenta for Velvety Cornmeal-Spinach Soup.

- In Padova and Treviso rice reigns supreme, and Lidia discovers hearty soups and risottos that highlight local flavors.

- In Piemonte, the robust Barolo wine distinguishes a fork-tender stufato of beef; local white truffles with scrambled eggs is "heaven on a plate"; and a bagna cauda serves as a dip for local vegetables, including prized cardoons.

- In Maremma, where hunting and foraging are a way of life, earthy foods are mainstays, such as slow-cooked rabbit sauce for pasta or gnocchi and boar tenderloin with prune-apple Sauce, with Galloping Figs for dessert.

- In Rome Lidia revels in the fresh artichokes and fennel she finds in the Campo dei Fiori and brings back nine different ways of preparing them.

- In Naples she gathers unusual seafood recipes and a special way of making limoncello-soaked cakes.

- From Sicily's Palermo she brings back panelle, the delicious fried chickpea snack; a caponata of stewed summer vegetables; and the elegant Cannoli Napoleon.

- In Puglia, at Italy's heel, where durum wheat grows at its best, she makes some of the region's glorious pasta dishes and re-creates a splendid focaccia from Altamura.

There's something for everyone in this rich and satisfying book that will open up new horizons even to the most seasoned lover of Italy.
Modern Italy: War, Postwar, Reconstruction, Take-off V. 3: Images and History of a National Identity
Modern Italy: War, Postwar, Reconstruction, Take-off V. 3
Images and History of a National Identity
Hardcover      ISBN: 8843512153