Viva l'Italia: A Regional Romp through Italy. Online exhibition


‘A man who has not been in Italy, is always conscious of an inferiority, from his not having seen what it is expected a man should see.’ - Dr Samuel Johnson

Italy – what dreams and romantic longings the name conjures up. Florence, Venice, Rome – landmarks of European history and civilization. The country of Caesar, Cicero, Horace, and Virgil: the land which gave birth to Michelangelo, Raphael, Titian, Dante, Ariosto, and Tasso. The list would be endless if it also encompassed ‘modern’ day celebrities such as Giuseppe Verdi, Enrico Fermi, Sofia Loren, Giorgio Armani, Dino Zoff (considered the best goalkeeper in the history of football), and the controversial Silvio Berlusconi.
Renowned for its architecture, its complex historical past, its literature, fashion, and cuisine, Italy is now sub-divided into 20 regions, where most speak Italian (a Florentine variety of Tuscan). Viva l’Italia: A Regional Romp through Italy is an exhibition that is constructed around images of Italian cities from a 17th century copy of Pietro Bertelli’s Theatro delle Citta d’Italia (1629). By utilising these images, the viewer ‘romps’ through the various regions of the country from Piedmont in the north, to Puglia in the southeast, Sardinia in the west, and Sicily in the southwest. The Republic (formed in 1946) encompasses some 301,338 kilometres. By necessity coverage is selective, an overview that covers most regions, not all cities, and not all facets of this richly diverse country.
Most of the Italian books in this exhibition are from the collections of Esmond de Beer and Charles Brasch, which are housed in Special Collections. Both men thoroughly enjoyed what Italy offered to the world; we are grateful for their passion. Forza Italia!


Various collectors

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