Eschewing the romanticism of many guidebooks, Murray, the New Yorker 's Rome correspondent, views his mother's native land with affection tempered by awareness of Italia's foibles. He argues that despite a rise in pollution, traffic congestion, crime and drug abuse--due to the transformation of Italy in the last decades from an agricultural to an industrial society--the people's irreverent, resourceful, witty character remains largely unchanged. A Roman restaurant owner's pride in the quality of his fare is matched by that of Fiat empire builder Gianni Agnelli, and it is echoed overseas by the ``last Italian,'' an elderly member of San Francisco's Italian community. Murray also evokes the jubilation of thousands of Venetians who circle the lagoon in an armada of small craft in a daylong celebration of their city. (June)
Reviewed on: 07/29/1991 Release date: 08/01/1991 Genre: Nonfiction
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