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Italy has a bewildering cultural patrimony. Where do you start? With Giotto? With Caravaggio? In murky Etruscan tombs or the mighty Roman Pantheon? "Speak the Culture: Italy" sifts through a sprawling 3,000 year saga and makes sense of it; dissecting architecture, music, food, art, literature, cinema and much more. Michelangelo, Machiavelli and Mussolini: you’ve heard of them, but how did they live? What were their achievements and failings, and how are they remembered in Italy today? "Speak the Culture: Italy" explores the place of these and other figures in the national identity, in the story that made the modern nation. Culture is covered in its broadest sense, extending into the everyday modes of life – the food and drink, religion, politics, sport, character and so on. On one side lies the famous lust for life, expressed in everything from the Carnevale Di Venezia to the family mealtime; on the other lies a darker story of organized crime, corruption and political transience. And while the Italian peninsula has its ancient history, as a state the famous boot, or Lo Stivale, remains young, so the nuances of strong, surviving regional identities are also revealed. Ideal for second homeowners, business travelers, holidaymakers, students of the Italian language and culture and Italophiles everywhere.