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The Secrets of Italy: People, Places, and Hidden Histories

An instant #1 bestseller in Italy, Augias's latest book sets out to rediscover the story—quite different from the history—of this country. Beginning with how Italy is seen from both outside and inside, he weaves a geo-historical narrative, passing through principal cities and rereading the classics and biographies of the people that have, for better or worse, made Italians who they are. From the gloomy atmosphere of Cagliostro's Palermo to the elegant court of Maria Luigia in Parma, from the ghetto of Venice to the heroic Neapolitan uprising against the Nazis, Augias sheds light on the Italian character, explaining it to outsiders and to Italians themselves. The result is a "novel of a nation," whose protagonists are both the figures we know from history and literature and characters long hidden between the cracks of historical narrative and memory.