“Two girls talking about books. They are Rory Gilmore, the protagonist of the TV series Gilmore Girls, and Michelle Obama, the real one. Rory, an avid reader, recommends the first lady an (endless) series of books to read while traveling for the Let Girls Learn initiative. Michelle will choose only one: My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante”.  My B...

The Name of the Rose is the most famous work of Italian writer, essayist, linguist, and philosopher Umberto Eco (1932-2016) and it was published in 1980. Eco was a great scholar and author of different kind of works; he received several honours - among those, the cavaliere di gran croce ordine al merito della repubblica italiana in 1996 and honoris...

The Adventures of Pinocchio first came out in serial form in 1881 in the Giornale dei bambini (“Children’s Magazine”) and was later published as a book in 1883. It was written by Carlo Collodi (1826 – 1890) – whose real name was Carlo Lorenzini as Collodi comes from the name of the hamlet in which his mother was born – who was an Italian author and...

If This is a Man was written in 1947 by Primo Levi (1919 – 1987). He was a chemist who wrote this biographical work after his several years in a concentration camp. It was first published in 1947 and later in 1958 by Einaudi. It has been defined as one of the most important recounting of the Jewish extermination by the Nazis and it is about the yea...

“Imparerai a tue spese che nel lungo tragitto della vita incontrerai tante maschere e pochi volti.” This month’s book is an interesting and fascinating story, from a brilliant author who created yet another masterpiece for the Italian literature.  Luigi Pirandello (1867-1936) was an author, narrator, and playwright who reached his fame in the theat...

This instalment of the column presents another great classic of the Italian literature, a well-know and in depth studied book that still finds its place in school curricula and can spark interesting conversation. This work is perhaps less consolidated and straightforward in our literary landscape because it has in fact generated criticism and contr...

The column keeps exploring some of the masterpieces produced by Italian literature and this one is no exception as – like the ones before – has laid the foundation for our culture, history, and language. It continues to be studied in schools and to be considered as one of the pillars of our literary treasure. The Betrothed (I Promessi Sposi), by Al...

The second instalment of this column continues with another great classic of Italian literature, a foundation of our cultural heritage and language, a work studied in schools and repeatedly analysed, a masterpiece that captivated our literary history: the Decameron, by Giovanni Boccaccio.  The Decameron was written between 1349 and 1351 and it cons...

This new column is born out of a personal passion, the desire to explore a new topic, the wish to present and share an important aspect of the Italian history and culture. It will focus on Italian books, both the timeless masterpieces which shaped our literature and the contemporary works that captured interest overseas.  In every article, I will t...

Orienta Badia was a woman ahead of her times. The daughter of Italian immigrants, she discovered her passion for dance at an early age – she amused guests at a 1924 wedding by dancing the Charleston at age 6 – and spurned tradition by pursuing her dreams of stardom. In doing so, she turned her back on conventional expectations – marriage, a family,...