Italy
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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.
Italy Since 1945
Italy Since 1945
Paperback      ISBN: 0198731698
Italy since 1945 sets in context the tremendous changes that Italy has undergone in the last 55 years. In place of the land of pizza, sunshine, and soccer, McCarthy describes a developing nation: an economy that has found its own road to success via the piccole imprese with an increasingly strong stockmarket and more sophisticated banking; a dynamic, traditional, family-centered society; and a political system struggling to modernize after forty years of Christian Democrat rule and Communist opposition. McCarthy also looks at the role of the Church, including Pius XII's wartime activities and the 'foreign pope', John-Paul II before finally turning to sport in Italy - the only country to have 3 daily newspapers devoted to the subject.

Authoritative, accessible, and absorbing, the book examines modern Italy through the eyes of 10 leading commentators and explores the Italian experience in the wider context of both the nation's past and its wider contemporary European position.
The Day of Battle: The War in Sicily and Italy, 1943-1944
The Day of Battle
The War in Sicily and Italy, 1943-1944
Paperback      ISBN: 080508861x

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

"Majestic... Atkinson's achievement is to marry prodigious research with a superbly organized narrative and then to overlay the whole with writing as powerful and elegant as any great narrative of war." --The Wall Street Journal

In An Army at Dawn--winner of the Pulitzer Prize--Rick Atkinson provided an authoritative history of the Allied triumph in North Africa during World War II. Now, in The Day of Battle, he follows the strengthening American and British armies as they invade Sicily in July 1943 and then, mile by bloody mile, fight their way north toward Rome.

The decision to invade the so-called soft underbelly of Europe was controversial, but once under way, the commitment to liberate Italy from the Nazis never wavered. The battles at Salerno, Anzio, the Rapido River, and Monte Cassino were particularly lethal, yet as the months passed, the Allied forces continued to drive the Germans up the Italian peninsula. And with the liberation of Rome in June 1944, ultimate victory at last began to seem inevitable.

Drawing on a wide array of primary source material, written with great drama and flair, The Day of Battle is a masterly account of one of history's most compelling military campaigns.

The Pope's Elephant
The Pope's Elephant
Paperback      ISBN: 0140288627

In 1514, Rome, the Eternal City, was the center of the Christian world and home and workshop to Raphael, Leonardo, and Michelangelo. It was also the city of Pope Leo X, the pleasure-loving pontiff whose court was infamous for its excess, frivolity and impropriety, as well as for its newly-arrived white elephant Hanno. Hanno became a star feature in processions and festivals, and the subject of countless paintings, sculptures and fountains. In this fascinating glimpse at a forgotten sidenote to history, Silvio A. Bedini gives us an elephant's-back view of early modern Europe and the inner workings of the Vatican at the height of its influence. Charmingly written with dozens of accompanying photographs and illustrations, The Pope's Elephant will delight readers just as Hanno delighted the people of Rome five centuries ago.

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.

Mattanza: The Ancient Sicilian Ritual of Bluefin Tuna Fishing
Mattanza
The Ancient Sicilian Ritual of Bluefin Tuna Fishing
Paperback      ISBN: 0141001607

Maggio delivers a magnificent journey inside the world of a Sicilian fishing community and its thousand-year-old rituals. Part memoir, part natural history, Mattanza is a riveting narrative of one woman's journey into another world. 30 photos.

Fortune Is a River: Ceonardo Da Vinci and Niccolo Machiavelli's Magnificent Dream to Change the Course of Florentine History
Fortune Is a River
Ceonardo Da Vinci and Niccolo Machiavelli's Magnificent Dream to Change the Course of Florentine History
Hardcover      ISBN: 0684844524

Telling of the friendship of Leonardo da Vinci and Niccolo Machiavelli, this text explores how the pair joined together under the inspiration of da Vinci's dream in an attempt to build a system of canals that would make the Arno River navigable from Florence to the sea.

Futuro Antico: The History of the Antinori Family and Their Palace
Futuro Antico
The History of the Antinori Family and Their Palace
Hardcover      ISBN: 8872925177
The Pursuit of Italy: A History of a Land, Its Regions, and Their Peoples
The Pursuit of Italy
A History of a Land, Its Regions, and Their Peoples
Paperback      ISBN: 0374533601

A provocative, entertaining account of Italy's diverse riches, its hopes and dreams, its past and present

Did Garibaldi do Italy a disservice when he helped its disparate parts achieve unity? Was the goal of political unification a mistake? The question is asked and answered in a number of ways in The Pursuit of Italy, an engaging, original consideration of the many histories that contribute to the brilliance--and weakness--of Italy today.

David Gilmour's wonderfully readable exploration of Italian life over the centuries is filled with provocative anecdotes as well as personal observations, and is peopled by the great figures of the Italian past--from Cicero and Virgil to the controversial politicians of the twentieth century. His wise account of the Risorgimento debunks the nationalistic myths that surround it, though he paints a sympathetic portrait of Giuseppe Verdi, a beloved hero of the era.

Gilmour shows that the glory of Italy has always lain in its regions, with their distinctive art, civic cultures, identities, and cuisines. Italy's inhabitants identified themselves not as Italians but as Tuscans and Venetians, Sicilians and Lombards, Neapolitans and Genoese. Italy's strength and culture still come from its regions rather than from its misconceived, mishandled notion of a unified nation.

Lucrezia Borgia: Life, Love And Death In Renaissance Italy
Lucrezia Borgia
Life, Love And Death In Renaissance Italy
Hardcover      ISBN: 0670033537

The very name Lucrezia Borgia conjures up everything that was sinister and corrupt about the Renaissance?incest, political assassination, papal sexual abuse, poisonous intrigue, unscrupulous power grabs. Yet as bestselling biographer Sarah Bradford reveals in this breathtaking new portrait, the truth is far more fascinating than the myth. Neither a vicious monster nor a seductive pawn, Lucrezia Borgia was a shrewd, determined woman who used her beauty and intelligence to secure a key role in the political struggles of her day.

Born the illegitimate daughter of Rodrigo Cardinal Borgia and his scheming mistress, Vannozza Cattanei, Lucrezia was twelve when her father became Pope Alexander VI and thirteen when she was forced into her first marriage. She would marry twice more, gaining increasing power with each match, until she came into her own as duchess of the city-state of Ferrara. Bradford argues that in her maturity Lucrezia was an enlightened ruler, kind and decisive in time of war, generous to the poets and artists of her court, passionate in love, and utterly indifferent to sexual morality.

Drawing from a trove of contemporary documents and fascinating firsthand accounts, Bradford brings to life the art, the pageantry, and the dangerous politics of the Renaissance world Lucrezia Borgia helped to create. Bradford is an expert on the Borgia family and in Lucrezia she has found a subject ideally suited to her gift for narrative and psychological insight. Sex, gossip, murder, astonishing beauty, and ambition? this is the Renaissance at its most irresistible.