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As the Romans Do

The Delights, Dramas, And Daily Diversio

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A celebration of the character and style of one of the world's most spectacular cities! This vibrant insider's view of the most mature city on earth is the perfect companion for anyone who loves anything Italian. In 1995, after a twenty-year love affair with Italy, Alan Epstein fulfilled his dream to live in Rome. In As the Romans Do, he celebrates the spirit of this stylish, dramatic, ancient city that formed the hub of a far-flung empire and introduced the Mediterranean culture to the rest of the world. He also reveals today's Roman men and women in all their appealing contradictions: their gregarious caffe culture; inborn artistic flair; passionate appreciation of good food; instinctive mistrust of technology; showy sex appeal; ingrained charm and expressiveness; surprisingly unusual attitudes toward marriage and religion; and much, much more.

From Publishers Weekly

Apr 03, 2000 – Although it retreads ground familiar to readers of Tim Parks, this slight if enjoyable collection of essays on life in Italy provides many amusing anecdotes. Epstein is a city-lover, particularly enamored with the Eternal City, and in 1995 he moved there from California with his wife and two young sons. These pieces collect his thoughts on the quirks of Italian life, but they often pertain to Italy in general rather than Rome (and too many of them concentrate on the joys of living in a city where women "not only don't mind that you look at them, but actually seek your gaze, your glance, your stare"). The most successful of these pieces examine the differences in the minutiae of life as experienced in Rome and in the U.S. Epstein's thoughts on making photocopies, something that in Rome is as difficult as "trying to get into Fort Knox," is well detailed, and the material on child-rearing (which the Italians consider both a communal responsibility and a pleasure) is sweet and poignant. Epstein often remarks that present-day Rome resembles the 1950s Philadelphia where he grew up, but he is too easily blinded to the weaknesses of both cultures. For example, in the face of growing xenophobia and violence against immigrants, he writes glowingly of how friendly Italians are to foreign vendors. Nevertheless, Epstein's love for his adopted home is often charming.
As the Romans Do
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  • $5.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Europe
  • Published: Oct 13, 2009
  • Publisher: HarperCollins e-books
  • Seller: HarperCollins
  • Print Length: 304 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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