Tobias Jones recounts his three-year voyage across the Italian peninsula. What emerges is a look at the livelier and stranger side of the "Bel Paese": the language, football, Catholicism, cinema, television and terrorism, and the grip exercised by Berlusconi through his media empire and presidency.
Why is Italy still riven with internal conflict? Why does one man - Silvio Berlusconi - appear to own everything from Padre Nostro to Cosa Nostra? Tobias Jones sets out to answer these and many other questions during his three-year voyage across the Italian peninsula. What emerges is not a book about the tourist concerns of climate, cuisine and art, but one about the much livelier and stranger side of the "Bel Paese": the language, football, Catholicism, cinema, television and terrorism - and the grip exercised by Berlusconi through his vast media empire and Presidency of the Ministerial Council. The Italy Tobias Jones discovers is a country which is proudly "visual" rather than "verbal", and where crime is hardly ever followed by punishment. It is a place of incredible illusionism, where it is impossible to distinguish fantasy from reality, fact from fiction.
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Tobias Jones studied at Jesus College Oxford. He was on the staff of the London Review of Books and of the Independent on Sunday before moving, in 1999, to Parma.
Dark Heart of Italy by Tobias Jones
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Faber & Faber
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