The War of the Fists
Popular Culture and Public Violence in Late Renaissance Venice
Hardcover ISBN: 0195084039
The War of the Fists is a study of seventeenth-century worker culture in the city of Venice, focusing on the mock battles, or battagliole, which the town's two popular factions waged on public bridges. These "little battles" were partly festive battle, partly sport, and partly thinly veiled plebeian mayhem: they could involve as many as a thousand fighters on each side and attracted crowds of thirty thousand or more. Their importance in the city's plebeian life makes bridge battles an extremely valuable point of entry for exploring structures of Venetian popular culture, a task which Robert Davis attempts at four levels: the social geography of Venetian factionalism; the combat itself, and its relationship to social culture; the festive world which grew up around the encounters; and the response of Venice's patrician state to this largely uncontrollable worker celebration.
Fortune Is a River
Ceonardo Da Vinci and Niccolo Machiavelli's Magnificent Dream to Change the Course of Florentine History
Hardcover ISBN: 0684844524
Opening a window on Renaissance Florence and two of its geniuses, the author traces the little-known friendship between da Vinci and Machiavelli and their joint effort to fulfill da Vinci's extravagant dream of turning Florence into a seaport. 30,000 first printing.
How a Renaissance Genius Reinvented Architecture
Paperback ISBN: 0142000159
Describes how a fifteenth-century goldsmith and clockmaker, Filippo Brunelleschi, came up with a unique design for the dome to crown Florence's magnificent new cathedral, Santa Maria del Fiore, in a dramatic study set against the turbulent backdrop of Renaissance Italy. Reprint.
City of Falling Angels
Paperback ISBN: 1594200610
Traces the aftermath of the 1996 Venice opera house fire, an event that devastated Venetian society and was investigated by the author, who through interviews with local figures learned about the region's rich cultural history.
The Pope and Mussolini
The Secret History of Pius XI and the Rise of Fascism in Europe
Hardcover ISBN: 0812993462
Analyzes the relationship between Pius XI and the notorious Italian dictator, tracing how after coming into power in the same year they forged covert ties to one another to consolidate power and pursue political goals.
The Genius in the Design
Bernini, Borromini, and the Rivalry That Transformed Rome
Hardcover ISBN: 0060525339
Traces the stories of legendary Baroque architects Gian Lorenzo Bernini and Francesco Borromini, detailing how their famed artistic achievements were motivated by a fierce side-by-side rivalry and changed the face of seventeenth-century Rome. 75,000 first printing.
Midnight in Sicily
On Art, Food, History, Travel, and La Cosa Nostra
Paperback ISBN: 0312426844
Chronicles the relationship of Italy's high-ranking politicians with the Sicilian Mafia, from the end of World War II to the present day, all the while exploring the pleasures of the region--its ancient culture, extraordinary landscapes, literature, art, and more. Reprint. 10,000 first printing.
Urban Development in Renaissance Italy
Paperback ISBN: 0470031557
Providing a comprehensive account of one of the most formative historical periods, this book uniquely describes Renaissance architecture as the physical manifestation of economic, social and political change. Shifts in architectural style and design are described in parallel with Italy's economic and demographic growth, external and internal conflict and the evolution of urban and regional government. Urban Development in Renaissance Italy covers the full extent of the Renaissance period, charting the era's medieval roots and its transformation into Mannerist and Baroque tendencies. Encompassing Palermo and Naples, the book fully covers northern, central and southern Italy, surpassing the conventional literature that tends to focus solely on northern Italy. Transforming medieval towns into city states, Renaissance governments invested heavily in developing the built environment to create a sense of awe and civic pride; while aristocratic dynasties, bankers and merchants commissioned sumptuous properties as a means of expressing their wealth and position in society; and holy orders built imposing churches to extend their influence. Architecture and planning, it is argued by Dr Paul Balchin provided a clear and significant path to political and economic power. It is within this context that the centre of political and economic gravity shifted over time within Italy from the republic of Venice in the 14th century to Medici Florence in the 15th century, and on to Papal Rome in the 16th and early 17th centuries.