Italy, though not large in size, has exerted more influence around the world than any other nation. This is not just because of the diversity of its landscapes, culture, amazing food and wine, unparalleled sense of beauty, and legendary creativity, but because its people are superb guardians of the legacy of their civilization.
Every Italian region is unique, which is part of their fascination. Fred Plotkin, an expert on all things Italian and the author of seven books on Italian themes, is back by popular demand to complete his extremely popular series on the regions of Italy. In illustrated talks, he reveals the history, mysteries, and pleasures of eight extraordinary regions from the Alps to the Mediterranean.
The fabulous Italian Riviera, also called Liguria, is famous for its extraordinary beauty in the Cinqueterre and towns such as Portofino and San Remo. But it also has Genoa, one of Italy’s largest and least-known cities, a treasure house of art and architecture, much of it in the largest medieval district of any city in Europe. Genoa launched the First Crusade, gave the world Christopher Columbus, and was crucial to Italy becoming a unified republic in the 1860s. Liguria also has a rocky coastline, hidden coves, high Apennine mountains, and towns older than Rome that are said to be inhabited by witches. Many great writers (including D.H. Lawrence, Dickens, Byron, and Ezra Pound) lived in Liguria and found inspiration there, as did composers such as Tchaikovsky, Elgar, Wagner, and Sibelius. For all of these artists—and Plotkin—Liguria is Italy at its best.
Plotkin was described in The New York Times as “an American who might as well be Italian, given how extensively he has studied and worked in Italy, the subject of many of the books he’s written.
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S. Dillon Ripley Center
1100 Jefferson Dr SW
Metro: Smithsonian (Mall exit)