Libro gratuito di viaggi in Italia del 1912

Un libro di viaggi in Italia scritto da James Sully, allora professore all’università di Oxford e appassionato di Italia. Il libro che potete scaricare gratis in una varietà di formati incluso per Kindle o .pdf contiene anche illustrazioni in bianco e nero di Noel Boxer.

Il libro comincia con una storia del turismo in Italia incluso il pellegrinaggio verso Roma e come questo sia cambiato nel corso dei secoli. L’autore chiaramente non ha fatto in tempo a vedere altri cambiamenti del 20esimo secolo come i viaggi aerei, gli alberghi economici, i charter, Ryanair, le gite in autobus e tanto altro.

L’autore poi esplora diverse parti d’Italia, Roma ovviamente ma anche posti come Baveno, Terracina, Palermo e Viareggio.

Oltre a leggere in inglese, cosa sempre utile, potrete scoprire come era vista l’Italia e il turismo di oltre un secolo fa.

Qui parla per esempio di Viareggio:

There is always some amount of activity to be observed on the Molo, if only the monotonous and half- hypnotising spectacle of the lowering and raising of the nets, in which the little glittering fish appear too rarely to excite the onlooker’s curiosity. The real, strenuous labour of fishing from the Molo can only be seen on a dark evening after the visitors’ dinner hour. You may then find a line of men on one of the two piers fishing with a small shallow net fastened to the end of a long pole, alternately dipping and raising the net.

A lantern is attached to the pole near the net end, and the lights, as they rise and fall, seem to be weaving a kind of firefly dance. As a contrast to these soothing spectacles the Molo furnishes an exciting one in the departure and return of the fishing smacks. They come bravely down the canal aided by the seaward current, and sometimes, when the wind is favourable will even raise a half- unfurled sail. This is commonly of a buff colour and bears a design, a disc or cross of a darker terra-cotta hue. In the offing the fully outspread sail takes on the look of a pair of large wings.

When the fisherman’s heart is too eager complications are apt to arise before he is free of the Molo. An entanglement with another smack tries the Viareggine patience over much, and voices are forced up to a strident pitch. As in the case of other entanglements foolishly rushed into, a sort of judi- cial knife may have to be produced to liberate the entrapped sail. An amusing foil to these impressive processions of the smacks is supplied now and again by the departure of a dwarfish tug, which vainly seeks to acquire dignity by a series of overstrained puffings.

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