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Discovering the Two Italys

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P.A. Moed

First of all, let’s get one thing straight. Your Italy and our Italia are not the same thing. Italy is a soft drug peddled in predictable packages, such as hills in the sunset, olive groves, lemon trees, white wine, and raven-haired girls. Italia, on the other hand, is a maze. It’s alluring, but complicated. It’s the kind of place that can have you fuming and then purring in the space of a hundred meters, or in the course of ten minutes. Italy is the only workshop in the world that can turn out both Botticellis and Berlusconis.Beppe Severgnini, La Bella Figura: A Field Guide to the Italian Mind

The Two Italys

As I dive deeper into the Italian culture, I have discovered that the famous Italian writer, Beppe Severgnini, is right. There are two Italys.

Let me explain.  The first Italy is beautiful, idyllic, and charming.  It is…

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