In the 18th century, well-bred English gentlemen would undertake a Grand Tour of the Continent for refinement--as well as for drinking,... More >
In the 18th century, well-bred English gentlemen would undertake a Grand Tour of the Continent for refinement--as well as for drinking, gambling, and sexual adventures--before assuming their place in society. Now, Brian Sewell follows the footsteps of those young aristocrats through Italy, exploring the art and architecture, manners and mores that shaped European civilization. With unmatched erudition and understated wit, this distinguished British art critic lovingly examines Italy's grandest cultural treasures. His journey takes him through Rome, Florence, Venice, Naples, Siena, and Milan, with plenty of stops along the way. More than a mere travelogue, this fascinating series showcases the country's dazzling cathedrals, palazzos, paintings, and sculptures while also giving insight into the travels and travails of tourists past.
Even a costume at a Carnival ball can't mask Sewell's sweet melancholy at journey's end; neither can the views along the Grand Canal or a visit to a clandestine 18th-century gambling den. But a cup of chocolate, served Italian style, helps.