5 books that showcase the culture of Italy through words
Italy is blessed with a rich history and a fascinating culture. While there are several photographs and movies showcasing them, there are certain books that offer a deeper insight. And guess what? These books have been written by people who have shared their personal experiences after staying in the "Land of Caves." Here are five books to understand Italy better.
Italian Folktales is written by Italian journalist and author Italo Calvino. The book, published in 1956, is a collection of 200 fables and tales that the author has produced over two years of traveling across the country. Interestingly, before each tale, the author explains the origin, which makes for the perfect introduction to the country's culture and history.
In his book Italian Neighbors, Tim Park shares that there are a lot of rules, norms, and customs for one to follow in Italy. For instance, you can only drink cappuccino between eight to 10 in the morning, while espresso can be consumed at any time. If a banker asks you how much interest you'd like to pay, don't blink. What even?
Tim Parks is among the very few authors who have written a multitude of books about Italy. He spent most of his time traveling in trains from Verona, hence, he wrote this entertaining book featuring his journey on trains. The book talks about the way stations operate, the ticketing system, social classes, the atmosphere in trains, and more. You'll surely laugh at some observations.
Written by Beppe Severgnini, this hilarious book reveals the Italian psyche. The book takes you on a journey through historic cities, beautiful countryside, and to places where Italians show how they really are - the good, the bad, and the authentic. The author also takes you through airports (where Italians don't prefer rules), highways (the psychopathology of the stoplight), streets, and more with his narration.
The Land Where Lemons Grow: The Story of Italy and its Citrus Fruit uses six distinct kinds of Italian citrus fruits to familiarize us with Italy's vibrant culture. In fact, the book also includes history, travel, recipes, horticulture, and even some really humorous anecdotes that showcase the Republic of Italy through a magnifying glass. Check out more such book recommendations.