As the Romans Do: The Delights, Dramas, And Daily Diversions Of Life In The Eternal City

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9780688172725: As the Romans Do: The Delights, Dramas, And Daily Diversions Of Life In The Eternal City
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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.

 

A celebration of the character and style of one of the world's most spectacular citiesThis 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.

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From the Publisher:

As over seven million Americans pack their bags for Jubilee 2000 in Rome, travel aficianado Alan Epstein offers the perfect touring companion. As the Romans Do is a behind-the-scenes journey through present-day Rome. It goes beyond the familiar tourist attractions and shines a probing light on the often hidden corners of the city and its environs. As the Romans Do amplifies on any traveler's experience of Rome, as people, places, activities, customs, and the habits of the Romans are woven into the various episodes that comprise the deep impression that the city has made on this American writer and his family. The interplay of the old and the new, the ancient and the modern, the expected and the startling, told with humor, insight and a fresh perspective, is the subject of As the Romans Do. The book highlights these characteristics as they are expressed in everyday life -- in the way people talk; the near obsessive relationship they have with eating well; the things that are important to them; the crucial role played by family, friends, and community; the importance of pleasure, la bella figura, and children; and their unparalleled social adeptness and hospitality. The book takes place in the locations where Romans congregate -- in eating establishments, markets, stores, homes and piazzas; in conversations, at meals, on the street, and in the sites where they go for outings in the country and holiday vacations. It captures the maddening, sensual, intimate nature of life in the city, how the close physical space and the continuing influence of tradition create the necessity for interactions to be carried out personally rather than anonymously.

From the Author:

Rome has always been a source of both inspiration and fascination to me. From my first moments in the city, I have been charmed by its beauty, history, and people, so much so that the idea of living here quickly took hold and never uprooted. Moving to Italy was a dream finally fulfilled after a twenty-year long love affair with the city, and from the beginning of my residence it has been my intention to write about Rome and its inhabitants. I have been noting with painstaking persistence all the things that seemed to me remarkable about the city, especially the differences in the ways of being, thinking, feeling that contrast Rome and the Romans from their American and European counterparts. I have tried to portray the city as it is lived everyday, an experience that is deeper, more varied and ultimately more incredible than a trip to the city of whatever duration. For it is in the daily interaction with the people that the true nature of the city emerges -- maddening, frustrating, challenging, yet ultimately sweet, sensual, and satisfying. It forces you to adapt to its rhythm, way of life, values and priorities. And in the end it pleases you because of its slower, more human pace, a life focused on the enjoyment of the present, which lures you into a completely different way of being."We were hooked on the beauty, the thrill, the incomparable joy of starting over in a new land with a new language. Our spirits were revived, and we were willing to endure whatever it took to make our dreams come alive. We left the shores of the New World and set sail for the Old, as we sorted through documents and personal papers, all the while thinking of the beautiful apartment in the historic Aventino, one of the seven original hills of the city, that awaited us."

Please visit my site at www.astheromansdo.com for discussions/feedback, photographs of Italy, letters and postcards from Rome and much more.

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