The Pillars of Hercules: A Grand Tour of the Mediterranean
By: Paul Theroux
"DAZZLING."--Time"[THEROUX'S] WORK IS DISTINGUISHED BY A SPLENDID EYE FOR DETAIL AND THE TELLING GESTURE; a storyteller's sense of pacing and gift for granting closure to the most subtle progression of events; and the graceful use of language. . . . We are delighted, along with Theroux, by the politeness of the Turks, amazed by the mountainous highlands in Syria, touched by the gesture of an Albanian waitress who will not let him pay for his modest meal. . . . The Pillars of Hercules [is] engrossing and enlightening from start (a damning account of tourists annoying the apes of Gibraltar) to finish (an utterly captivating visit with Paul Bowles in Tangier, worth the price of the book all by itself)."--Chicago Tribune"ENTERTAINING READING . . . WHEN YOU READ THEROUX, YOU'RE TRULY ON A TRIP."--The Boston Sunday Globe"HIS PICARESQUE NARRATIVE IS STUDDED WITH SCENES THAT STICK IN THE MIND. He looks at strangers with a novelist's eye, and his portraits are pleasantly tinged with malice."--The Washington Post Book World"THEROUX AT HIS BEST . . . An armchair trip with Theroux is sometimes dark, but always a delight."--Playboy"AS SATISFYING AS A GLASS OF COOL WINE ON A DUSTY CALABRIAN AFTERNOON . . . With his effortless writing style, observant eye, and take-no-prisoners approach, Theroux is in top form chronicling this 18-month circuit of the Mediterranean."--Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
Mediterranean by Cruise Ship: The Complete Guide to Mediterranean Cruising
By: Anne Vipond
The Mediterranean remains the dream destination of every cruiser. Beaches, impressive scenery and a variety of rich cultures make the Mediterranean a perennial draw for travellers. Covers the art, history and background of societies that continue to influence the world. The new 7th edition includes updates and additions to all ports of this exciting cruise destination. Practical tips on getting around, recommended shore excursions as well as shopping and restaurant suggestions. Color maps show exactly where the ships dock for each port. Covers eastern and western itineraries. Includes hundreds of color photos and several dozen maps that capture the essence of each locale.
In this richly illustrated volume, eight distinguished historians explore the facts, themes, and epochs of the history of the “Great Sea”: the physical setting; the rivalry between Carthaginians, Greeks, and Etruscans for control of sea routes; unification under Rome and the subsequent break up into Western Christendom, Byzantium, and Islam; the Crusades; commerce in medieval times; the Ottoman resurgence; the rivalry of European powers from the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries; and the globalization of the region in the last century.The book departs from the traditional view of Mediterranean history with its emphasis on the influences of physical geography. Instead it regards physical context as a staging ground for decisive action with, at center stage, human catalysts at all levels of society—from great kings and emperors to the sailors of medieval Amalfi to the Sephardic Jews who were expelled from Spain in 1492. The authors describe how these groups interacted with one another across the sea, enjoying commercial and political ties as well as sharing ideas and religious beliefs.
The Great Sea: A Human History of the Mediterranean
By: David Abulafia
Connecting Europe, Asia, and Africa, the Mediterranean Sea has been for millennia the place where religions, economies, and political systems met, clashed, influenced and absorbed one another. In this brilliant and expansive book, David Abulafia offers a fresh perspective by focusing on the sea itself: its practical importance for transport and sustenance; its dynamic role in the rise and fall of empires; and the remarkable cast of characters-sailors, merchants, migrants, pirates, pilgrims-who have crossed and re-crossed it. Ranging from prehistory to the 21st century, The Great Sea is above all a history of human interaction. Interweaving major political and naval developments with the ebb and flow of trade, Abulafia explores how commercial competition in the Mediterranean created both rivalries and partnerships, with merchants acting as intermediaries between cultures, trading goods that were as exotic on one side of the sea as they were commonplace on the other. He stresses the remarkable ability of Mediterranean cultures to uphold the civilizing ideal of convivencia, "living together." Now available in paperback, The Great Sea is the definitive account of perhaps the most vibrant theater of human interaction in history.
The best Rome has to offer — in your pocket. The Pocket Rough Guide to Rome is your essential guide to Italy's capital, with the all the key sights, restaurants, shops, and bars included in an easy-to-use format, with a full-color pull-out map. Whether you have an afternoon or a few days at your disposal, our itineraries help you plan your trip, and the "Best of Rome" section picks out the highlights you won't want to miss, from the Galleria Borghese's dazzling art collection to vertiginous views from St Peter's dome. Divided by area for easy navigation, the "Places" section is written in Rough Guide's trademark honest and informative style, with listings of the must-see sights and our pick of the places to eat, drink, and dance, from tucked-away trattorias to the perfect aperitivo bars to kick off a night out. Make the most of your time with the The Pocket Rough Guide to Rome.
The French Riviera: A Cultural History (Landscapes of the Imagination)
By: Julian Hale
The French Riviera conjures up images of yachts on an azure blue sea; the dark green of pines and swaying palms; sports cars on the Corniche roads; the Monte Carlo casino and the Cannes film festival. But as Julian Hale reveals in this fascinating volume, there is another Riviera. Above Monaco towers a ruined reminder of Roman power, the Emperor Augustus' Trophy of the Alps. Monuments to Napoleon and Maginot Line forts testify to turbulent times, while statues and gravestones recall the belle Epoque. Churches and chapels along the coast and in the inland villages contain pictorial and architectural treasures from the Brea family during the Renaissance to Picasso and Matisse in the twentieth century. If the Riviera has had its critics--Somerset Maugham famously called it "a sunny place for shady people"--it remains the epitome of glamour. Julian Hale reveals how a piece of rugged inaccessible coastline was transformed into a byword for luxury and hedonism--but always with a special beauty of its own.
At its height Renaissance Florence was a centre of enormous wealth, power and influence. A republican city-state funded by trade and banking, its often bloody political scene was dominated by rich mercantile families, the most famous of which were the Medici. This enthralling book charts the family's huge influence on the political, economic and cultural history of Florence. Beginning in the early 1430s with the rise of the dynasty under the near-legendary Cosimo de Medici, it moves through their golden era as patrons of some of the most remarkable artists and architects of the Renaissance, to the era of the Medici Popes and Grand Dukes, Florence's slide into decay and bankruptcy, and the end, in 1737, of the Medici line.
A monumentally informed and irresistibly opinionated guide to the most un-Spanish city in Spain, from the bestselling author of The Fatal Shore. In these pages, Robert Hughes scrolls through Barcelona's often violent history; tells the stories of its kings, poets, magnates, and revolutionaries; and ushers readers through municipal landmarks that range from Antoni Gaudi's sublimely surreal cathedral to a postmodern restaurant with a glass-walled urinal. The result is a work filled with the attributes of Barcelona itself: proportion, humor, and seny—the Catalan word for triumphant common sense.
The City of Florence: Historical Vistas and Personal Sightings
By: R.W.B. Lewis
A New York Times Notable BookIn this deeply personal and learned labor of love, R.W.B. Lewis provides a new look at the glories of Florence, the smallish Tuscan city which has been a prime source for modern Western culture and which has also been his second home for fifty years. With a scholar's eye and a lover's passion, he invites us to share his vision of a city and the way of life it has engendered and inspired.
La Bella Figura: A Field Guide to the Italian Mind
By: Beppe Severgnini
Join the bestselling author of Ciao, America! on a lively tour of modern Italy that takes you behind the seductive face it puts on for visitors—la bella figura—and highlights its maddening, paradoxical true self You won’t need luggage for this hypothetical and hilarious trip into the hearts and minds of Beppe Severgnini’s fellow Italians. In fact, Beppe would prefer if you left behind the baggage his crafty and elegant countrymen have smuggled into your subconscious. To get to his Italia, you’ll need to forget about your idealized notions of Italy. Although La Bella Figura will take you to legendary cities and scenic regions, your real destinations are the places where Italians are at their best, worst, and most authentic: The highway: in America, a red light has only one possible interpretation—Stop! An Italian red light doesn’t warn or order you as much as provide an invitation for reflection. The airport: where Italians prove that one of their virtues (an appreciation for beauty) is really a vice. Who cares if the beautiful girls hawking cell phones in airport kiosks stick you with an outdated model? That’s the price of gazing upon perfection.The small town: which demonstrates the Italian genius for pleasant living: “a congenial barber . . . a well-stocked newsstand . . . professionally made coffee and a proper pizza; bell towers we can recognize in the distance, and people with a kind word and a smile for everyone.”The chaos of the roads, the anarchy of the office, the theatrical spirit of the hypermarkets, and garrulous train journeys; the sensory reassurance of a church and the importance of the beach; the solitude of the soccer stadium and the crowded Italian bedroom; the vertical fixations of the apartment building and the horizontal democracy of the eat-in kitchen. As you venture to these and many other locations rooted in the Italian psyche, you realize that Beppe has become your Dante and shown you a country that “has too much style to be hell” but is “too disorderly to be heaven.” Ten days, thirty places. From north to south. From food to politics. From saintliness to sexuality. This ironic, methodical, and sentimental examination will help you understand why Italy—as Beppe says—“can have you fuming and then purring in the space of a hundred meters or ten minutes.”
Ancient Rome: Art, Architecture, and History (Readings in Conservation)
By: Ada Gabucci
Rome continues to be the monumental expression of a legend. It is the eternal city where all roads of the ancient world converged, and through the millennia has been the model for the very concept of a universal empire. Through art, architecture, and urban planning, the empire expanded with an exceptional synthesis of technology, politics, law, and propaganda, conquering Europe, the Mediterranean, and the Near East. Accompanied by masterpieces of architecture, sculpture and painting and the words of illustrious figures, Ancient Rome: Art, Architecture, and History follows the arc of the city and its civilization from their beginnings to their height and decline. Included are discussions of the emperor Augustus; the Julio-Claudian dynasty; the ill-fated town of Pompeii; the architecture and planning of the metropolis; the art and architecture of the provinces of Europe and North Africa; and the fall of the Western Empire and the establishment of the Byzantine Empire as the heir of Rome.
20th Anniversary Edition with a New Afterword Twenty years ago, Frances Mayes--widely published poet, gourmet cook, and travel writer--introduced readers to a wondrous new world when she bought and restored an abandoned villa called Bramasole in the spectacular Tuscan countryside. Under the Tuscan inspired generations to embark on their own journeys--whether that be flying to a foreign country in search of themselves, savoring one of the book's dozens of delicious seasonal recipes, or simply being transported by Mayes's signature evocative, sensory language. Now, with a new afterword from the Bard of Tuscany herself, the 20th anniversary edition of Under the Tuscan Sun brings us up-to-date with the book's most beloved characters.
“When Matisse dies,” Pablo Picasso remarked in the 1950s, “Chagall will be the only painter left who understands what color really is.” As a pioneer of modernism and one of the greatest figurative artists of the twentieth century, Marc Chagall achieved fame and fortune, and over the course of a long career created some of the best-known and most-loved paintings of our time. Yet behind this triumph lay struggle, heartbreak, bitterness, frustration, lost love, exile—and above all the miracle of survival.Born into near poverty in Russia in 1887, the son of a Jewish herring merchant, Chagall fled the repressive “potato-colored” tsarist empire in 1911 for Paris. There he worked alongside Modigliani and Léger in the tumbledown tenement called La Ruche, where “one either died or came out famous.” But turmoil lay ahead—war and revolution; a period as an improbable artistic commissar in the young Soviet Union; a difficult existence in Weimar Germany, occupied France, and eventually the United States. Throughout, as Jackie Wullschlager makes plain in this groundbreaking biography, he never ceased giving form on canvas to his dreams, longings, and memories. His subject, more often than not, was the shtetl life of his childhood, the wooden huts and synagogues, the goatherds, rabbis, and violinists—the whole lost world of Eastern European Jewry. Wullschlager brilliantly describes this world and evokes the characters who peopled it: Chagall’s passionate, energetic mother, Feiga-Ita; his eccentric fellow painter and teacher Bakst; his clever, intense first wife, Bella; their glamorous daughter, Ida; his tough-minded final companion and wife, Vava; and the colorful, tragic array of artist, actor, and writer friends who perished under the Stalinist regime.Wullschlager explores in detail Chagall’s complex relationship with Russia and makes clear the Russian dimension he brought to Western modernism. She shows how, as André Breton put it, “under his sole impulse, metaphor made its triumphal entry into modern painting,” and helped shape the new surrealist movement. As art critic of the Financial Times, she provides a breadth of knowledge on Chagall’s work, and at the same time as an experienced biographer she brings Chagall the man fully to life—ambitious, charming, suspicious, funny, contradictory, dependent, but above all obsessively determined to produce art of singular beauty and emotional depth.Drawing upon hitherto unseen archival material, including numerous letters from the family collection in Paris, and illustrated with nearly two hundred paintings, drawings, and photographs, Chagall is a landmark biography to rank with Hilary Spurling’s Matisse and John Richardson’s Picasso.
With an Introduction and Notes by Henry Claridge, Senior Lecturer, School of English, University of Kent at Canterbury Tender is the Night is a story set in the hedonistic high society of Europe during the "Roaring Twenties". A wealthy schizophrenic, Nicole Warren, falls in love with Dick Diver - her psychiatrist. The resulting saga of the Diver's troubled marriage and their circle of friends, includes a cast of aristocratic and beautiful people, unhappy love affairs, a duel, incest, and the problems inherent in the possession of great wealth. Despite cataloguing a maelstrom of interpersonal conflict, Tender is the Night has a poignancy and warmth which springs from the quality of F. Scott Fitzgerald's writing and the tragic personal experiences on which the book is based.