Welcome to Italy, where spring breezes are a threat and political turnover is a promise. In a country where words are the most common music and gestures the most frequent dance, find out why wishing someone good luck attracts its polar opposite and why foods served on the same plate best be color-coordinated. Drawn from her column in The Florentine, Linda Falcone’s vignettes take readers on an exhilarating ramble through Italy’s life and language, both conjuring its beauties and unriddling its beasts.

Size up and side-step the country’s curious taboos and tune into its unbounded appeal with this book that’s smart enough for the veteran traveler and light enough for the newly arrived. These colorful stories prove that laughter is the surefire antidote to culture shock and that language is the most effective window through which to see the world.

About the Author

Linda Falcone is a language teacher who loves the rhythm of irregular verbs as much as the sound of rain on the roof. For over fifteen years, she has taught non-native speakers of all ages and walks of life: from Montessori pre-school tikes and incorrigible military cadets to up-and-coming bankers and soon-to-be fashion designers. Her favorites are classes tailored to professional associations: groups of genius scientists, the local police force, museum guards, taxi-driver associations and even those who sit in European toll booths and need English as they wait for change.

Born in northern California, she was raised in a bi-cultural family and is currently celebrating eighteen years of permanent Italian living. She believes in full amphitheatres in spring, empty beaches in autumn and newspaper articles year-round that reek of new ink and speak of loveliness.

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