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La Bella Figura: A Field Guide to the Italian Mind

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La Bella Figura: A Field Guide to the Italian Mind Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Join the bestselling author of Ciao, America! on a lively tour of modern Italy that takes you behind the seductive face it puts on for visitors—la bella figura—and highlights its maddening, paradoxical true self

 

You wont need luggage for this hypothetical and hilarious trip into the hearts and minds of Beppe Severgninis fellow Italians. In fact, Beppe would prefer if you left behind the baggage his crafty and elegant countrymen have smuggled into your subconscious. To get to his Italia, youll need to forget about your idealized notions of Italy. Although La Bella Figura will take you to legendary cities and scenic regions, your real destinations are the places where Italians are at their best, worst, and most authentic:

The highway: in America, a red light has only one possible interpretation—Stop! An Italian red light doesnt warn or order you as much as provide an invitation for reflection.

The airport: where Italians prove that one of their virtues (an appreciation for beauty) is really a vice. Who cares if the beautiful girls hawking cell phones in airport kiosks stick you with an outdated model? Thats the price of gazing upon perfection.

The small town: which demonstrates the Italian genius for pleasant living: “a congenial barber . . . a well-stocked newsstand . . . professionally made coffee and a proper pizza; bell towers we can recognize in the distance, and people with a kind word and a smile for everyone.”

The chaos of the roads, the anarchy of the office, the theatrical spirit of the hypermarkets, and garrulous train journeys; the sensory reassurance of a church and the importance of the beach; the solitude of the soccer stadium and the crowded Italian bedroom; the vertical fixations of the apartment building and the horizontal democracy of the eat-in kitchen. As you venture to these and many other locations rooted in the Italian psyche, you realize that Beppe has become your Dante and shown you a country that “has too much style to be hell” but is “too disorderly to be heaven.”

Ten days, thirty places. From north to south. From food to politics. From saintliness to sexuality. This ironic, methodical, and sentimental examination will help you understand why Italy—as Beppe says—“can have you fuming and then purring in the space of a hundred meters or ten minutes.”

Synopsis:

The book on perplexing Italians . . . Severgninis most systematic probe of the Italian psyche yet . . . A keen observer of human nature, (he watches) his compatriots with amused insight . . . Laugh-out-loud funny ("International Herald Tribune").

About the Author

beppe severgnini is a columnist for Italys largest circulation daily newspaper Corriere della Sera and covered Italy for The Economist from 1993 to 2003. He is the author of the international bestseller Ciao, America! He lives with his family in Crema, on the outskirts of Milan.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780767914406
Author:
Severgnini, Beppe
Publisher:
Broadway Books
Translator:
Watson, Giles
Subject:
Europe - Italy
Subject:
Travel, Italy
Subject:
italy;travel;culture;humor;non-fiction;europe;italians;cultures;identities
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20070631
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
240
Dimensions:
7.98x5.26x.65 in. .43 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Business » Management
History and Social Science » World History » Italy
Travel » Europe » Italy
Travel » Travel Writing » General
Travel » Travel Writing » Italy

La Bella Figura: A Field Guide to the Italian Mind Used Trade Paper
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Product details 240 pages Broadway Books - English 9780767914406 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , The book on perplexing Italians . . . Severgninis most systematic probe of the Italian psyche yet . . . A keen observer of human nature, (he watches) his compatriots with amused insight . . . Laugh-out-loud funny ("International Herald Tribune").
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