Speak the Culture: Italy by Andrew Whittaker
Italy has a bewildering cultural patrimony. Where do you start? With Giotto? With Caravaggio? In murky Etruscan tombs or the mighty Roman Pantheon? Speak the Culture: Italy sifts through a sprawling 3,000 year saga and makes sense of it; dissecting architecture, music, food, art, literature, cinema and much more.
Michelangelo, Machiavelli and Mussolini: you’ve heard of them, but how did they live? What were their achievements and failings, and how are they remembered in Italy today? Speak the Culture: Italy explores the place of these and other figures in the national identity, in the story that made the modern nation.
Culture is covered in its broadest sense, extending into the everyday modes of life – the food and drink, religion, politics, sport, character and so on. On one side lies the famous lust for life, expressed in everything from the Carnevale Di Venezia to the family mealtime; on the other lies a darker story of organised crime, corruption and political transience. And while the Italian peninsula has its ancient history, as a state the famous boot, or Lo Stivale, remains young, so the nuances of strong, surviving regional identities are also revealed.
Speak the Culture: Italy Content:
- Literature & Philosophy
- Art & Architecture
- Performing Arts
- Cinema, Photography & Fashion
- Media & Communications
- Food & Drink
- Living culture: the state of the nation
Download a sample chapter of Speak the Culture: Italy.
About the Author of Speak the Culture: Italy
Andrew Whittaker is a successful journalist and writer who has traveled widely, and written extensively on France and the Mediterranean countries. Speak the Culture: Italy, is his fourth book in the series.
Reviews of Speak the Culture: Italy
Speak the Culture Italy is a guidebook with a difference. Rather than suggesting itineraries across Italian landmarks, it steers people through that intricate maze that is Italian culture.Part of a series that also looks at France, Spain and Britain, it has the ambitious intent "to give readers a real grasp of [a country’s culture] and to help them develop and explore it." Indeed, the 300-page book is a cavalcade through all you need to know about Italy—geography, history, language, literature, philosophy, art, architecture, music, theatre, cinema, fashion, media and, of course, food and drink. Amazingly, the book manages to delve reasonably deep as well broad, going beyond the obvious (such as Dante, Raphael and Giuseppe Verdi) to introduce lesser known (which often means more modern) writers, artists, philosophers and musicians (including communist philosopher Antonio Gramsci, Arte Povera proponent Michelangelo Pistoletto, contemporary young author Niccolò Ammaniti and the hugely successful songwriter Zucchero Fornaciari). Italy Magazine