La Passione: How Italy Seduced

La Passione: How Italy Seduced the World. Crown Archetype. Apr. 2019. 320p. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780451499165. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780451499189. TRAV
Hales (La Bella Lingua) brings the sights and sounds of Italy to life with beautifully told stories of the passion that has permeated the country from its earliest recorded history to the present. By passion, Hales means a deep-seated emotion that influences one's thoughts and actions. The author explains her own passion in terms of her 30-year love affair with all things Italian, from a serendipitous decision to change trains in Switzerland and visit Italy for the first time to subsequent visits over the decades. These stories provide context to the many familiar and lesser-known contributions Italy has made to mythology, art, architecture, cuisine, archaeology, agriculture, literature, music, film, crafts, fashion, and automobiles. Hales successfully captures what it means to experience Italy and to be Italian, regardless of one's background. In the process, readers meet passionate souls, past and present. Hales states that "la passione italiana flows from shops and kitchens into fields, groves, and vineyards."
VERDICT Italophiles will relish the depth and breadth of this delightful book.

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