Some Reasons for Traveling to Italy

MIT. Nov. 2022. 272p. ISBN 9780262047265. $32.95. TRAV
While most modern tourists associate travel to Italy with drinking wine, relaxing on a beach, or visiting cultural sites, this book gives brief glimpses of the many—more than 120—reasons historical figures have toured the Italian peninsula. These reasons range from the serious (Saul Steinberg’s escape from the Mussolini regime) to the humorous (the accidental flatulence of Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford, in front of Queen Elizabeth I; ashamed, he fled the country). This book by award-winning Germany-based architect Wilson isn’t a traditional travel guide. Instead, it contains a collection of brief anecdotes about the various artists, intellectuals, authors, and even scoundrels who once traveled to Italy and how it affected their lives and occupations. It also includes travelogues written by the author’s parents while touring Italy in the 1950s. Wilson also recounts his own reasons for visiting Italy, including architecture courses and conferences. His own drawings and watercolors and dry, sly sense of humor enhance this book.
VERDICT Italophiles and architecture fans will enjoy the short essays that feature travelers from the 1300s to the present day.
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