La bella figura : a field guide to the Italian mind

by Beppe Severgnini

Paperback, 2006




New York : Broadway Books, c2006.


An offbeat odyssey into the heart of Italy and the Italian people captures the colorful character of the nation in a ten-day journey to thirty destinations that reveal Italy's best, worst, and most authentic aspects.

User reviews

LibraryThing member parkinglady01
The book by Beppe (and I love to say his name) was the most helpful guidebook I could have possibly read in preparation for my trip to Italy. This guidebook was extremely informative: all the dos and don’ts for your trip abroad. For example, do not order a cappuccino after 10:30 am – not only will you make the restaurant mad, but apparently they don’t serve it after that time regardless – so don’t be asking them to make it “special” for you. I would definitely recommend reading this book to anyone travelling to Italy, whether for a romantic getaway or for an extended period of time – read this book on the long plane ride, and you’ll be sure to earn the respect of the locals.… (more)
LibraryThing member Seajack
I really liked the author's "Ciao, America!" quite a bit, so got a hold of this one on Italy. Interesting approach of covering national sociological observations and regional differences together, rather than treating the latter separately.
LibraryThing member BudaBaby
Severgnini supposes that there is a difference between your Italy and his Italia. Key to understanding the real Italia is understanding the Italian psyche. Funny, and well-thought-out, but don't take it too seriously as how "Italians really are."
LibraryThing member Oreillynsf
Mildly entertaining tongue in cheek exploration of Italians and Italian life.
LibraryThing member aadyer
A partially interesting & at times engaging look at Italian culture, & the attempts to explain this in a quasi-humorous way to non Italians. At times, this works, in others, it doesn't. Helpful in places, meandering in others. Yes, there's some good points in places about Italian joint memories, characteristics & stereoptypes but this is not consistent. Some of the humour jars as well.… (more)


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