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Italy Out of Hand

A Capricious History

Regular price $26.95 CAD
  • ISBN: 9781553650935
  • Tags: Barbara Hodgson, Travel & Adventure,
  • Dimensions: 5.25 x 7.25
  • Published On: 1/20/2005
  • 208 Pages

Italy out of Hand is not a traditional guidebook with hotel addresses and hours of operation. Rather, it is an idiosyncratic tour of a sometimes overwhelming and extravagant country. Seething below Italy's wonderfully civilized surface is a mass of macabre stories, salacious goings-on, and decidedly strange personalities and bizarre behavior. There is also a long and shadowy history of corruption, cruelty, and waves of invaders.

Barbara Hodgson has assembled an overflowing treasury of forgotten and overlooked oddities and presents them here in a stunning collection. She offers up lost popes, bloodthirsty mercenaries, tempestuous artists, and inexplicable follies.

Colourfully and artfully illustrated with an equally eclectic selection of photographs, portraits, and art, Italy Out of Hand is the perfect companion for those who like their truths to be stranger than fiction.

Barbara Hodgson is a book designer and writer. In addition to her three novels, The Tattooed Map, The Sensualist and Hippolyte's Island, she is the co-author of Paris Out of Hand, and Italy Out of Hand. Her non-fiction works include The Rat: A Perverse Miscellany, Opium: A Portrait of the Heavenly Demon and In the Arms of Morpheus: The Tragic History of Laudanum, Morphine and Patent Medicines. She lives in Vancouver, British Columbia.


"Italy Out of Hand teases out those palazzi, cathedrals, museums, and caffes where history and legend ebb and flow with the present in fabulously moody tides." -Boston Globe

"Hodgson displays a definite taste for the idiosyncratic and the arcane." -Texts and Pretexts

"A delightfully irreverent compendium, this book details Italy's odd - and oddly interesting - culture . . . and history . . . backed up by a wealth of practical info." -En Route Magazine