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Travel Guide 2   >   Europe   >   Italy   >   History

   
 

Italian History


Here are some books about the history of Italy:


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Books about Italian History


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Italy: A History

By Vincent Cronin

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Paperback (264 pages)

Italy: A History
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Here, from New York Times bestselling historian Vincent Cronin, is the extraordinary story of Italy – from the birth of the Roman Empire to the rise of the city-states through the Renaissance and the making of modern Italy.

Italianissimo: The Quintessential Guide to What Italians Do Best

By Louise Fili

Random House
Released: 2008-09-02
Hardcover (112 pages)

Italianissimo: The Quintessential Guide to What Italians Do Best
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  • Italianissimo The Quintessential Guide to What Italians Do Best
Product Description:
What is it about Italy that inspires passion, fascination, and utter devotion? This quirky guide to the Italian way of life, with its fifty witty mini-essays on iconic Italian subjects, will answer that question as well as entertain and delight both real and armchair travelers. Topics range from expressive hand gestures to patron saints, pasta, parmesan, shoes, opera, the Vespa, the Fiat 500, gelato, gondolas, and more. History, folklore, superstitions, traditions, and customs are tossed in a delicious sauce that also includes a wealth of factual information for the sophisticated traveler:• why lines, as we know them, are nonexistent in Italy• why a string of coral beads is often seen around a baby’s wrist• what the unlucky number of Italy is (it’s not thirteen, unless seating guests at a table, when it IS thirteen–taking into account the outcome of the Last Supper)• why red underwear begins to appear in shops as the New Year approaches In addition to the lyrical and poetic, Italianissimo provides useful and indispensable information for the traveler: deciphering the quirks of the language (while English has only one word for “you,” in Italy there are three), the best place to find balsamic vinegar (in Modena, of course), the best gelato (in Sicily, where they first invented it using the snow from Mount Etna). There are also recommendations for little-known museums and destinations (the Bodoni museum, the Pinocchio park, legendary coffee bars).This is a new kind of guidebook overflowing with enlightening and hilarious miscellaneous information, filled with luscious graphics and unforgettable photographs that will decode and enrich all trips to Italy–both real and imaginary.

The Italians

By John Hooper

Penguin Group USA
Released: 2016-01-19
Paperback (336 pages)

The Italians
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  • Penguin Group USA
Product Description:
Washington Post bestseller
Los Angeles Times bestseller

A vivid and surprising portrait of the Italian people from an admired foreign correspondent


How did a nation that spawned the Renaissance also produce the Mafia? And why does Italian have twelve words for coat hanger but none for hangover?
 
John Hooper’s entertaining and perceptive new book is the ideal companion for anyone seeking to understand contemporary Italy and the unique character of the Italians. Fifteen years as a foreign correspondent based in Rome have sharpened Hooper’s observations, and he looks at the facts that lie behind the stereotypes, shedding new light on everything from the Italians’ bewildering politics to their love of life and beauty. Hooper persuasively demonstrates the impact of geography, history, and tradition on many aspects of Italian life, including football and Freemasonry, sex, food, and opera. Brimming with the kind of fascinating—and often hilarious—insights unavailable in guidebooks, The Italians will surprise even the most die-hard Italophile.


From the Hardcover edition.

The Pursuit of Italy: A History of a Land, Its Regions, and Their Peoples

By David Gilmour

Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Released: 2012-11-13
Paperback (480 pages)

The Pursuit of Italy: A History of a Land, Its Regions, and Their Peoples
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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.

La Cucina: The Regional Cooking of Italy

By The Italian Academy of Cuisine

Rizzoli
Released: 2009-10-20
Hardcover (928 pages)

La Cucina: The Regional Cooking of Italy
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  • Rizzoli
Product Description:
Fifty years ago, a group of Italian scholars gathered to discuss a problem: how to preserve traditional Italian cooking. They formed the Italian Academy of Cuisine to document classic recipes from every region. The academy’s more than seven thousand associates spread out to villages everywhere, interviewing grandmothers and farmers at their stoves, transcribing their recipes—many of which had never been documented before. This is the culmination of that research, an astounding feat—2,000 recipes that represent the patrimony of Italian country cooking. Each recipe is labeled with its region of origin, and it’s not just the ingredients but also the techniques that change with the geography. Sprinkled throughout are historical recipes that provide fascinating views into the folk culture of the past. There are no fancy flourishes here, and no shortcuts; this is true salt-of-the-earth cooking. The book is an excellent everyday source for easily achievable recipes, with such simple dishes as White Bean and Escarole Soup, Polenta with Tomato Sauce, and Chicken with Lemon and Capers. For ease of use there are four different indexes. La Cucina is an essential reference for every cook’s library.

Painting and Experience in Fifteenth-Century Italy: A Primer in the Social History of Pictorial Style (Oxford Paperbacks)

By Michael Baxandall

imusti
Paperback (192 pages)

Painting and Experience in Fifteenth-Century Italy: A Primer in the Social History of Pictorial Style (Oxford Paperbacks)
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  • Oxford University Press USA
Product Description:
Serving as both an introduction to fifteenth-century Italian painting and as a text on how to interpret social history from the style of pictures in a given historical period, this new edition to Baxandall's pre-eminent scholarly volume examines early Renaissance painting, and explains how the style of painting in any society reflects the visual skills and habits that evolve out of daily life. Renaissance painting, for example, mirrors the experience of such activities as preaching, dancing, and gauging barrels. The volume includes discussions of a wide variety of painters, including Filippo Lippi, Fra Angelico, Stefano di Giovanni, Sandro Botticelli, Masaccio, Luca Signorelli, Boccaccio, and countless others. Baxandall also defines and illustrates sixteen concepts used by a contemporary critic of painting, thereby assembling the basic equipment needed to explore fifteenth-century art.
This new second edition includes an appendix that lists the original Latin and Italian texts referred to throughout the book, providing the reader with all the relevant, authentic sources. It also contains an updated bibliography and a new reproduction of a recently restored painting which replaces the original.

The Italian Renaissance

By J.H. Plumb

Mariner Books
Released: 2001-06-19
Paperback (320 pages)

The Italian Renaissance
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Spanning an age that witnessed great achievements in the arts and sciences, this definitive overview of the Italian Renaissance will both captivate ordinary readers and challenge specialists. Dr. Plumb’s impressive and provocative narrative is accompanied by contributions from leading historians, including Morris Bishop, J. Bronowski, Maria Bellonci, and many more, who have further illuminated the lives of some of the era’s most unforgettable personalities, from Petrarch to Pope Pius II, Michelangelo to Isabella d'Este, Machiavelli to Leonardo. A highly readable and engaging volume, THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE is a perfect introduction to the movement that shaped the Western world.

An Art Lover's Guide to Florence

By Judith Testa

Brand: Northern Illinois University Press
Paperback (306 pages)

An Art Lover s Guide to Florence
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No city but Florence contains such an intense concentration of art produced in such a short span of time. The sheer number and proximity of works of painting, sculpture, and architecture in Florence can be so overwhelming that Florentine hospitals treat hundreds of visitors each year for symptoms brought on by trying to see them all, an illness famously identified with the French author Stendhal.

While most guidebooks offer only brief descriptions of a large number of works, with little discussion of the historical background, Judith Testa gives a fresh perspective on the rich and brilliant art of the Florentine Renaissance in An Art Lover’s Guide to Florence. Concentrating on a number of the greatest works, by such masters as Botticelli and Michelangelo, Testa explains each piece in terms of what it meant to the people who produced it and for whom they made it, deftly treating the complex interplay of politics, sex, and religion that were involved in the creation of those works.
 
With Testa as a guide, armchair travelers and tourists alike will delight in the fascinating world of Florentine art and history.

A Concise History of Italy (Cambridge Concise Histories)

By Christopher Duggan

Christopher Duggan
Released: 2013-12-05
Paperback (360 pages)

A Concise History of Italy (Cambridge Concise Histories)
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  • A Concise History of Italy Cambridge Concise Histories
Product Description:
Since its formation in 1861, Italy has struggled to develop an effective political system and a secure sense of national identity. This new edition of Christopher Duggan's acclaimed introduction charts the country's history from the fall of the Roman Empire in the west to the present day and surveys the difficulties Italy has faced during the last two centuries in forging a nation state. Duggan successfully weaves together political, economic, social and cultural history, and stresses the alternation between materialist and idealist programmes for forging a nation state. This second edition has been thoroughly revised and updated to offer increased coverage of nineteenth- and twentieth-century Italy, as well as a new section devoted to Italy in the twenty-first century. With a new, extensive bibliographical essay and a detailed chronology, this is the ideal resource for those seeking an authoritative and comprehensive introduction to Italian history.

Florence: The Paintings & Frescoes, 1250-1743

By Ross King

King Ross
Released: 2015-10-20
Hardcover (696 pages)

Florence: The Paintings & Frescoes, 1250-1743
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  • Florence The Paintings Frescoes 1250 1743
Product Description:
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

This is the most comprehensive book on the paintings and frescoes of Florence ever undertaken, with nearly 2,000 beautifully reproduced artworks from the city's great museums and churches-produced in the same manner as BD&L's The Louvre and The Vatican.

Every painted work that is on display in the Uffizi Gallery, The Pitti Palace, the Accademia, and the Duomo is included in the book, plus many or most of the works from 28 of the city's other magnificent museums and churches. The research and text are by Ross King (best-selling author), Anja Grebe (author or The Louvre and The Vatican), Cristina Acidini (former Superintendent of the public museums of Florence) and Msgr. Timothy Verdon (Director of the artworks for the Archdiocese of Florence).


 
 
 

 
 
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