Italian Books & References
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"Schaum's Outlines Italian Grammar",
by Joseph E. Germano and Conrad J. Schmitt,
McGraw Hill, 2nd Edition, 1995,
IBSN 0-07-023033-1. This is a good introduction to Italian grammar
containing a large number of answered exercises.
"A Reference Grammar of Modern Italian",
by Martin Maiden and Cecilia Robustelli,
NTC Publishing Group, 2000,
ISBN 0-658-00430-1. This comprehensive, broad-based grammar dealing
with both spoken and written Italian is a valuable reference tool.
"On-Line Italian Dictionaries & Encyclopedia"
This excellent site contains
Dizionario Hazon Garzanti which provides an Italian-English / English-Italian dictionary,
Dizionario Ialiano Garzanti (Italian - Italian) is an excellent resource for
difficult to find words, and an Encyclopedia with 50,000 entries.
"Collins Italian-English Talking Dictionary"
This site has the electronic edition of the Collins dictionary. It has over 80,000 words and phrases and more than 120,000 translations. The electronic versions of the dictionaries have the same content as their paper counterparts, but are much easier to use and most convenient for look-ups while reading from the computer. This program has a small icon which remains on top of any visible program. All one needs to do is to click a word in a document and drag it to the icon. The dictionary opens with the dragged word visible. Very nice! Unfortunately, no tables of irregular verbs and their conjugations.
"Italian Dictionary for the Palm Pilot" For excellence in a portable Italian dictionary, consider the
Collins paperback Bilingual Dictionary
which has been converted for installation on the Palm Pilot. This adds a portable Italian dictionary to the calendar, calculator, address book, and memo pad of a Palm Pilot. This is a fairly robust dictionary for its size with more than just one-word translations.
"Cassell's Italian Dictionary", Macmillan Publishing Company, 1994,
This is only one of a number of handy Italian dictionaries. The others listed here are
more unique Italian Dictionaries.
"Italian Unabridiged Dictionary", Harper Collins Sansoni Edition,
Edited by Vladimiro Macchi, Firenze, 3rd edition, 1995. This outstanding reference
contains over 810,000 entries.
"Dizionario Siciliano-Italiano E Italiano-Siciliano",
Luigi La Rocca, Terzo Millenio, Caltanisesetta, 2000, 238 p.
"Dictionary of Italian Slang and Colloquial Expression",
Daniela Gobetti, Barron's Educational Series, paperback 1999, 331 p. with more than 4000 words that one will not find in the standard Italian dictionary. If you are easily offended, better pass this up (and remain in doubt).
"Italian Cinema: From Neorealism to the Present",
an outstanding book by Peter Bondanella,
Continuum Publishers, 3rd edition, 2001,
ISBN 0-8264-1247-5. If you get one book on film, this should be the one.
"Italian Film in the Light of Neorealism",
by Millicent Marcus,
is a detailed examination of 17 classic films from neorealism proper, through social commentary to Fascism and war reconsidered. Princeton University Press, 1986,
"Poet of Civic Courage: The Films of Francesco Rosi",
Edited by Carlo Testa, is a fascinating look at the work of Francesco Rosi - a must for Rosi fans. Praeger Publishers, 1996,
"The Body In The Mirror: Shapes of History in Italian Cinema",
a scholarly look at the Italian self-image on the screen,
by Angela Dalle Vacche,
Princeton University Press, 1992,
"Italian Film", by Marcia Landy,
examines the extraordinary cinematic tradition of Italy from the silent era to the present,
Cambridge University Press, 2000,
"After Fellini: National Cinema in the Postmodern Age",
by Millicent Marcus. The author examines works of Rossellini, Visconti, Bertolucci, Salvatores, Rossi, Amelio, Tornatore, Nichetti, Moretti and Benigni. Johns Hopkins University Press, 2002,
"Great Italian Films", by Jerry Vermilye,
is an interesting book with photos from and descriptions of a number of Italian Classics.
Citadel Press, 1994,
"Film, Politics, and Gramsci", by Marcia Landy,
examines the Marxist politics of Antonio Gramsci and its influence on Italian film.
University of Minnesota Press, 1994,
Cinema From Literature:
"Filmmaking by the Book: Italian Cinema and Literary Adaptation",
by Millicent Marcus,
is a fascinating look at the transformation from literary narrative to cinema. The author examines kew works of several postwar Italian filmmakers -- Visconti, De Sica, Pasolini, Fellini, and the Taviani brothers.
Johns Hopkins University Press, 1993,
"Italian Cinema and Modern European Literature: 1945 - 2000",
by Carlo Testa, is similar to Millicent Marcus' book on literary adaptation, but focuses on non-Italian Literature since Italian Literature is the focus of the Marcus book. Each of Testa's 6 Chapters deals with a specific period and begins with an outline of the political history of the period.
Praeger Publishers, 2002,
On-line information on film may be found at the following sites:
Internet Movie Data Base, IMDB, .
Italian Movies at Yahoo (in Italian).
Kataweb Cinema (in Italian) .
Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews .
A number of these books are written by Denis Mack Smith who writes with clarity, wit, and obvous affection for an Italy that he knows better than any other historian writing in the English language. While some of the older books are out of print, they can sometime be found by taking advantage of the book search engines on the Internet.
"Modern Italy: A Political History" by Denis Mack Smith, University of Michigan, 1997, ISBN 0-472-10895-6. This book begins with setting the stage for Italy's Risorgimento and follows the history of Modern Italy to the end of the 20th century.
"The Making of Italy, 1796-1870" edited by Denis Mack Smith, Walker and Company, 1968 . This book consists of a collection of documents which for the most part are contemporaneous accounts of the history which have been knitted together by the editor.
" A History of Contemporary Italy: Society and Politics 1943 - 1988 " by Paul Ginsborg, Palgrave Macmillan, 2003. The political drama is interwoven with the whole cultural and economic history of the country. ISBN 1-4039-6153-0.
"The Oxford Illustrated History of Italy " by George Holmes, Oxford University Press, hardcover 1997, paperback edition 2001 (ISBN 0-19-285444-5) . The well done volume begins with the decline of the Roman Empire and the Medieval Years and traces development in Italy through the Renaissance, Risorgimento and Fascist periods to the post war and modern period.
"Da Quarto al Volturno" by Giuseppe Cesare Abba is a day by day account of Garibaldi's campaign from Abba's diary which was written by this Garibaldini. It begins
on May 3, 1860 with preparations for the campaign and ends with the encounter between Victor Emanuel II and Garibaldi at Teano on Oct. 26, 1880. The complete text of this diary is available on the Internet in Italian
at this location.
It has been published in English as
"The Diary of one of Garibaldi's Thousand" by Giuseppe Cesare Abba, translated by E.R. Vincent, copyright Oxford University Press, 1962 (reprinted by the Greenwood Press ISBN: 0313224463 , 1981). While out of print, it can sometime be found using one of the book search engines.
"The latifundia in modern Sicilian history" by Denis Mack Smith,
Proceedings of the British Academy, 1965. London  v. 51 p. -124.
[University of Rochester Library, Rhees Stacks Call Number: AS122 .B86p v.51]
"Sprezzatura: 50 Ways Italian Genius Shaped the World",
Peter D'Epiro and Mary Desmond Pinkowish,
First Anchor Books Edition, Oct. 2001,
(50 Fascinating essays covering the period from the Roman Calendar and Republic to Ferrari and La Moda Italiana.)
This series was written at the initiative of Denis Mack Smith. These books have sometime been published in the US and Great Britain by different publishers.
The British editions have photographic images while the US editions have lower
quality printed copies of the images.
While out of print, they can sometime be found on the Internet by sellers who
specialize in out of print titles such as
"A History of Sicily: Ancient Sicily" by M.I. Finley, Rowman and Littlefield, 1979,
"A History of Sicily: Medieval Sicily 800-1713" by Denis Mack Smith,
1968, Chatto & Windus, London.
"A History of Sicily: Modern Sicily after 1713" by Denis Mack Smith,
1968, Dorset Press.
Books In Italian
Intratext Digital Library is committed to accuracy and accessibility, offering texts and corpora as lexical hypertexts.
Their holdings are published in a number of languages, including Italian. There is quite a collection of Italian classics
available for on-line reading at the following link:
Dover has published a series of Dual Language Books containing collections of short
stories (novelle) with original Italian and English translation on adjacent pages.
A couple of examples of these books include:
"Italian Stories" edited by Robert A Hall, Dover Publications, 1989,
ISBN 0-486-26180-8. This includes works by Pirandello, Machiavelli, Verga, Moravia, and others.
"Eleven Short Stories by Luigi Pirandello"
translated and edited by Stanley Appelbaum, Dover Publications, 1994,
"Proverbi Napoletani" by Vitttorio Paliotti, Giunti Gruppo Editoriale,
Firenze, 2000, ISBN 88-09-01779-X. This collection of Neapolitan Proverbs are
presented next to their Italian Equivalents.
"Proverbi Siciliani" by Emma Alaimo, Giunti Gruppo Editoriale,
Firenze, 2000, ISBN 88-09-01783-8. This collection of Sicilian Proverbs are
presented next to their Italian Equivalents.
Books About Italy
"Giovanni Verga: Cavaleria Rusticana and other Stories"
Translated by G.H. McWilliam, Penguin Classics, 1999, ISBN 0-14-044741-5.
Written in the 1870s and 1880s in a realistic (verismo) style which was
revisited in film's Neorealism in the middle of the 20th century. Although he was born into a prosperous bourgeois family, these stories present an image of the rural Sicilian life in his birthplace of Catania, Sicily.
"A House in Sicily" by Daphne Phelps with Foreword by Denis Mack Smith,
Carroll & Graf Publishers, 1999, ISBN 0-7867-0656-2. An autobiography by an English woman who inherits one of the most beautiful houses in Taormina at the end of World War II and the 50 year challenge required to make her home there.
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