A travel writing that explores the furthest reaches of no-frill, high-thrills Europe.
'First of all, let's get one thing straight. Your Italy and out Italia are not the same thing. Italy is a soft drug peddled in predictable packages such as hills in the sunset, olive groves, white wine and raven haired girls. Italia, on the other hand, is a maze. It's alluring but complicated. In Italia you can go round and round in circles for years. Which of course, is great fun.' Beppe Severgnini was The Economist's Italian correspondent for ten years. A huge Anglophile as well as an astute observer of his countrymen, he's the perfect companion for this hilarious tour of modern Italy that takes you behind the seductive face it puts on for visitors - la bella figura - and uncovers the far more complex, paradoxical true self. Alongside the historic cities and glorious countryside, there'll be stops at the places where the Italians reveal themselves in all their authentic, maddening glory: the airport, the motorway and the living room. Ten days, thirty places. From north to south, from food to politics, from saintliness to sexuality. This witty and beguiling examination will help you understand why Italy, as Beppe says, 'can have you fuming and then purring in the space of a hundred metres or ten minutes.'
In the tradition of Jon Krakaueryes'>#8217;s Into Thin Air and Sebastian Jungeryes'>#8217;s The Perfect Storm comes a true tale of riveting adventure in which two weekend scuba divers risk everything to solve a great historical mysteryyes'>#8211;and make history themselves.For John Chatterton and Richie Kohler, deep wreck diving was more than a sport. Testing themselves against treacherous currents, braving depths that induced hallucinatory effects, navigating through wreckage as perilous as a minefield, they pushed themselves to their limits and beyond, brushing against death more than once in the rusting hulks of sunken ships.But in the fall of 1991, not even these courageous divers were prepared for what they found 230 feet below the surface, in the frigid Atlantic waters sixty miles off the coast of New Jersey: a World War II German Uboat, its ruined interior a macabre wasteland of twisted metal, tangled wires, and human bonesyes'>#8211;all buried under decades of accumulated sediment.No identifying marks were visible on the submarine or the few artifacts brought to the surface. No historian, expert, or government had a clue as to which Uboat the men had found. In fact, the official records all agreed that there simply could not be a sunken Uboat and crew at that location.Over the next six years, an elite team of divers embarked on a quest to solve the mystery. Some of them would not live to see its end. Chatterton and Kohler, at fist bitter rivals, would be drawn into a friendship that deepened to an almost mystical sense of brotherhood with each other and with the drowned Uboat sailorsyes'>#8211;former enemies of their country. As the menyes'>#8217;s marriages frayed under the pressure of a shared obsession, their dives grew more daring, and each realized that he was hunting more than the identities of a lost Uboat and its nameless crew.Author Robert Kursonyes'>#8217;s account of this quest is at once thrilling and emotionally complex, and it is written with a vivid sense of what divers actually experience when they meet the dangers of the oceanyes'>#8217;s underworld. The story of Shadow Divers often seems too amazing to be true, but it all happened, two hundred thirty feet down, in the deep blue sea.From the Hardcover edition.