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Italian Culture


The Complete Idiot's Guide to Italian History and Culture
By Gabrielle Euvino with Michael San Filippo Alpha Books;
408 pages 1st edition (October 11, 2001) ISBN: 0028642341
Overview by Michael San Filippo

Mention the phrase Italian history and culture, and some people are immediately reminded of Charlton Heston riding a chariot in the Roman Coliseum, Michelangelo painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel on his back, or Anita Ekberg frolicking in the Trevi Fountain in the film La Dolce Vita.

Others will think of the frescos in Pompeii, the historic Carnevale in Venice, or Dante's nine rings of Hell. There's a lot more to Italy's rich heritage though, and the The Complete Idiot's Guide to Italian History and Culture will satisfy your thirst for all things Italian with in-depth information on Italian art and literature, Italian wine and cooking, and famous Italians and Italian Americans.

You'll learn more about the birth of Rome, Italian artists such as Botticelli and da Vinci, Italian holiday traditions, fashion and design, the Risorgimento, and the influence of the church on Italian life. You'll also discover secrets of Italian cooking, explore the Italian-American connection, and find out more about the centuries-long struggle to unify Italy.

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Italian History and Culture is written by Gabrielle Euvino and this SiteGuide. Euvino is a highly respected educator, author, and translator, and the founder and president of La Bella Lingua, a company that conducts language and cultural tours in Italy. Gabrielle has also written The Complete Idiot's Guide to Learning Italian.

As Gabrielle writes in the introduction, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Italian History and Culture '...will show you how much of the Italian spirit has become part of your daily life. Whenever you sip an Italian wine or bite into a delicious bit of pasta, you are participating in the Italian legacy.'

The book is divided into six sections:

  • A Portrait: Introduces the Italians and talks about their origins.

  • Tota Italia: Discusses the many layers that make up Italian history.

  • Quantum Leaps: Offers an overview of the Renaissance, arguably one of the most interesting periods of history.

  • Redshirts, Blackshirts, and Greenshirts: Learn about Napoleon and how the French Revolution affected Italy's politics. Meet Giuseppe Garibaldi and his Thousand Redshirts.

  • Pizza, Pasta, and Fantasia: Celebrates the Italian women whose contributions deserve special mention.

  • Italy's Exports: Acknowledges achievements and contributions made by Italy's sons and daughters.

A sample chapter in The Complete Idiot's Guide To Italian History and Culture includes Who Are the Italians?, which puts to rest some of the common stereotypes about Italians and Italy and discusses la famiglia, Italian names, regionalism, and genealogy. There are also appendixes that include Web resources, suggested films and books pertaining to Italian history and culture, and a map of Italy.

If you want to learn more about the history of opera, the influence of the Church on Italian life, or how Italy paved the way for today's banking system, then get ready to indulge! Whether you're a primadonna or a fanciulla, a mammone or a Medici, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Italian History and Culture is like a delicious hours-long Italian meal with great friends and terrific conversation that will leave you satiated long after the table is cleared.

Info about studying Italian language:

  • Learn Italian in Italy - Find information about Italian language schools and courses in Florence, Milan, Rome and Siena.
  • Study Italian in Italy - Young and dynamic agency born with the aim of connecting schools and students from all over the world. Find here more information about Italian language schools and Italian language courses in Italy.
  • Italian language school located in Tuscany, Viareggio, Italy, offers semester and summer study abroad programs. Take italian courses in language and learn italian while learning the italian culture.

Info about studying in Italy:

  • Guide to Study in Italy: Find universities and colleges in Italy. If offers also pratical information for students that are planning to study in Italy.