Title: Sprezzatura: 50 Ways Italian Genius Shaped the World
Author: Peter D’Epiro and Mary Desmond Pinkowish
Publisher: Anchor Books 2001
Genre: Nonfiction — history
Rating: 4 / 5 stars
Reading Challenges: Dewey — 940s; My Years — 2001; Fall into Reading
How I Got It: Library loan
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?
The word “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.