Italianissimo: The Quintessential Guide to What Italians Do Best

Front Cover
Little Bookroom, 2008 - Travel - 111 pages
2 Reviews
What is it about Italy that inspires passion, fascination, and utter devotion? This quirky guide to the Italian way of life, with its fifty witty mini-essays on iconic Italian subjects, will answer that question as well as entertain and delight both real and armchair travelers. Topics range from expressive hand gestures to patron saints, pasta, parmesan, shoes, opera, the Vespa, the Fiat 500, gelato, gondolas, and more. History, folklore, superstitions, traditions, and customs are tossed in a delicious sauce that also includes a wealth of factual information for the sophisticated traveler:• why lines, as we know them, are nonexistent in Italy• why a string of coral beads is often seen around a baby’s wrist• what the unlucky number of Italy is (it’s not thirteen, unless seating guests at a table, when it IS thirteen–taking into account the outcome of the Last Supper)• why red underwear begins to appear in shops as the New Year approaches In addition to the lyrical and poetic, Italianissimo provides useful and indispensable information for the traveler: deciphering the quirks of the language (while English has only one word for “you,” in Italy there are three), the best place to find balsamic vinegar (in Modena, of course), the best gelato (in Sicily, where they first invented it using the snow from Mount Etna). There are also recommendations for little-known museums and destinations (the Bodoni museum, the Pinocchio park, legendary coffee bars).This is a new kind of guidebook overflowing with enlightening and hilarious miscellaneous information, filled with luscious graphics and unforgettable photographs that will decode and enrich all trips to Italy–both real and imaginary.

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Review: Italianissimo: The Quintessential Guide to What Italians Do Best

User Review  - JP - Goodreads

Fun little novelty book about what we get from Italy, ranging from gelato to ex voto. Read full review

Review: Italianissimo: The Quintessential Guide to What Italians Do Best

User Review  - Melissa - Goodreads

Charming and cute. Read full review

About the author (2008)

Louise Fili is a graphic designer specializing in logo, package, restaurant, type, and book design. She was art director of Pantheon Books from 1978 to 1989, where she designed more than 2,000 book jackets. She has received awards from every major design competition, has taught and lectured on graphic design and typography, and has work is in the permanent collection of the Library of Congress, the Cooper-Hewitt Museum, and the Bibliothèque Nationale. She was the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts grant, and is the co-author of eleven books on design. Fili was recently inducted into the Art Directors Hall of Fame.

A resident of Florence since 1978, Lise Apatoff earned her bachelor of fine arts from the University of California at Santa Barbara and her master of fine arts from the University of Washington. She is an official museum guide for the city of Florence and has worked all over Italy as a translator, interpreter, tour planner and leader, and museum lecturer. She has been visiting and tasting in kitchens all over Italy for twenty-five years, and for the past decade has been taking lucky guests with her to explore the marvels of the food and culture of Tuscany.

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