The Dark Heart of Italy

An Incisive Portrait of Europe's Most Beautiful, Most Disconcerting Country by Tobias Jones

  • Published: Sep 15, 2020

In 1999 Tobias Jones immigrated to Italy, expecting to discover the pastoral bliss described by centuries of foreign visitors. Instead, he found a very different country one besieged by unfathomable terrorism and deep-seated paranoia. The Dark Heart of... read more

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Details of The Dark Heart of Italy

Exact title of the book
The Dark Heart of Italy
Book author
Tobias Jones
ISBN
9781466804517
Publisher
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Published
May 19, 2005
Language
English
Format
PDF, FB2, EPUB, MOBI
Pages
336
File size (in PDF)
3024 kB

Some brief overview of book

In 1999 Tobias Jones immigrated to Italy, expecting to discover the pastoral bliss described by centuries of foreign visitors. Instead, he found a very different country one besieged by unfathomable terrorism and deep-seated paranoia. The Dark Heart of Italy is Jones's account of his four-year voyage across the Italian peninsula.

Jones writes not just about Italy's art, climate, and cuisine but also about the much livelier and stranger sides of the Bel Paese the language, soccer, Catholicism, cinema, television, and terrorism. Why, he wonders, does the parliament need a "slaughter commission"? Why do bombs still explode every time politics start getting serious?

Why does everyone urge him to go home as soon as possible, saying that Italy is a "brothel"? Most of all, why does one man, Silvio Berlusconi-in the words of a famous song-appear to own everything from Padre Nostro (Our Father) to Cosa Nostra (the Mafia)? The Italy that emerges from Jones's travels is a country scarred by civil wars and "illustrious corpses"; a country that is proudly visual rather than verbal, based on aesthetics rather than ethics; a country where crime is hardly ever followed by punishment; a place of incredible illusionism, where it is impossible to distinguish fantasy from reality and fact from fiction.

About author

Jones studied at Jesus College, Oxford. He was on the staff of the London Review of Books and of The Independent on Sunday before moving, in 1999, to Parma, Italy.

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