Non travel books on Italy

Old Mar 15th, 2015, 12:06 PM
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Non travel books on Italy

We will be traveling to Italy this summer. This will be our 5th or 6th visit. We are staying for 9 weeks. I read a lot of biographies written about people during WWI and WWII. Seems there are a great amount of books dealing with people living in Germany and Austria during these times and they cover both Nazi personnel and non Nazi personnel very well. Does anyone know of any books of this genre that take place in Italy? Would be nice to read about the lives of people who supported Musolini and of those who opposed him. Even some biographies written about the pre Mussolini era would be nice.
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Old Mar 15th, 2015, 12:16 PM
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The War in Val d'Orcia is an excellent book about the in tuscany. Highly recommend it.
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Old Mar 15th, 2015, 12:17 PM
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Another one I enjoyed is Last Train from Liguria.
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Old Mar 15th, 2015, 01:02 PM
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http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/23/bo...ft-t.html?_r=0

http://www.amazon.com/The-Abruzzo-Tr...FBQ9MNVEC3VDQT

http://www.versobooks.com/books/688-antonio-gramsci

http://www.amazon.com/Road-Valor-Cyc...ZN1EG8MAPKZA4A

http://www.amazon.com/Child-Confino-.../dp/1440509972

http://www.amazon.com/Christ-Stopped.../dp/0374530092

http://www.amazon.com/It-Happened-It...3ADDC7ZM51E2ZJ

http://www.amazon.com/Bad-Times-Good...BS60CSMN4SHDXS

Do you like movies? There are some interesting movies about Italy in the years of fascism and the wars, most famously

Amarcord

The Conformist

Garden of the Finzi-Continis (also a book)

General Della Rovere

Tea with Mussolini

Two Women
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Old Mar 15th, 2015, 01:28 PM
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have you read any Eric Newby? his Love and War in the Apennines describes how he was hidden by an italian family to stop him being taken prisoner in WW2 and ended up marrying their daughter. His other books are excellent too - good, lively writing.
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Old Mar 15th, 2015, 02:14 PM
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The Periodic Table by Primo Levi.

Thin
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Old Mar 16th, 2015, 05:31 AM
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The Sky Falls, by Lorenza Mazzetti.
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Old Mar 16th, 2015, 05:41 AM
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The Pursuit of Italy, by David Gilmour. He is a pro historian in Britain but his history, from ancient to modern times, is very readable for the amateur. He concentrates on the political thinking and social issues behind the events. One example: He analyzes the significance of opera composers when the modern country was forming in the 19th century.
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Old Mar 16th, 2015, 06:21 AM
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OLMINTY,

"The War in Val d'Orcia is an excellent book about the in tuscany. Highly recommend it"

I agree with JAMKINS. Also suggest IRIS ORIGO by Caroline Moorehead, a bio of a glamorous ex-pat from Florence who married an Italian aristocrat. Together they rehabilitate the estate of La Foce in southern Tuscany - it was somewhat feudal in the 20s and 30s.

The part about WWII is quite riveting. LaFoce was caught in the crosshairs as the Allies were approaching from the south and the Nazi were retreating north. Origo, a "self taught" scholar, described that experience in the volume mentioned above. No one escaped the madness. La Foce is now a lovely agriturismo (sp.?)still run by the family.
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Old Mar 16th, 2015, 08:57 AM
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I was going to suggest Love and War in the Apennines , but annhig beat me to it. A Small Place in Italy isn't about the war years, but it's also worth reading. It's about a place in northern Tuscany that he and his wife bought. Far superior to Under a Tuscan Sun , which describes a let's pretend Italy. Anything I've read by Eric Newby was worth reading.

Natalie Ginzburg has written some good books about the period before, during and after World War II. I don't know how many are translated into English. I do know that Lessico Familiare is available as Family Sayings.

I can't think of anything written from the Fascist perspective, although maybe I'm overlooking something. Gabriele D'Annunzio is perhaps the most famous literary personality who supported Mussolini, but he was a poet. There was censorship during the period, and after the war, the fascists vanished like snow in July.

I read a good biography of Mussolini in Italian, but I haven't read any in English.
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Old Mar 16th, 2015, 09:46 AM
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Wow. Thanks to everyone for all the titles of both books and movies. We leave in 2 months so I will be busy reading till then.

Ciao
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Old Mar 16th, 2015, 03:04 PM
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The best book on Italy that I ever read is "The Italians" by Luigi Barzini. It was written some time ago, but many people call it the most significant book ever written describing Italians.
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Old Mar 16th, 2015, 03:07 PM
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bvl - oh goody - another Newby fan.

slightly off topic but I can recommend books in the same vein, this time by a woman called Dervla Murphy, who set off alone with her 5 year old.
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Old Mar 16th, 2015, 03:11 PM
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From the Fascist perspective, Mussolini published an autobiography -- unimaginiately titled "My Autobiography" -- and one of his children wrote an uncritical memoir

http://books.google.it/books/about/M...IC&redir_esc=y
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Old Mar 17th, 2015, 02:50 PM
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http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...t-in-italy.cfm
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