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A witty, erudite celebration of fifty great Italian cultural achievements that have significantly influenced Western civilization from the authors of What Are the Seven Wonders of the World?
“Sprezzatura,” or the art of effortless mastery, was coined in 1528 by Baldassare Castiglione in The Book of the Courtier. No one has demonstrated effortless mastery throughout history quite like the Italians. From the Roman calendar and the creator of the modern orchestra (Claudio Monteverdi) to the beginnings of ballet and the creator of modern political science (Niccolò Machiavelli), Sprezzatura highlights fifty great Italian cultural achievements in a series of fifty information-packed essays in chronological order.
“This book is as entertaining as it is educational, a great combination that should assure its success. . . . Sprezzatura could well serve as a text for any undergraduate course on Italian culture taught in English. For this purpose its serious approach to its subject, the quality and quantity of information provided on any of the fifty topics, and the broad range of the topics themselves are excellent.” —Umberto Mariani, Rutgers University, Italian Quarterly