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Pictures From Italy


Pictures from Italy is a travelogue by Charles Dickens, written in 1846. The book reveals the concerns of its author as he presents, according to Kate Flint, the country "like a chaotic magic-lantern show, fascinated both by the spectacle it offers, and by himself as spectator".

In 1844, Dickens took a respite from writing novels and traveled to France and Italy with his family for several months. They visited the most famous sights: Rome, Naples (with Vesuvius still smouldering), Florence and Venice. In his travelogue the author portrays a nation of great contrasts: between grandiose buildings and urban desolation, and everyday life beside ancient monuments. But it is his encounters with Italy's colorful street life that captures the imagination. Dickens is particularly drawn to the costumes, cross-dressing, and sheer exuberance of the Roman carnival. From the book we learn that Dickens was an early riser and walker, enjoying touring the major attractions on foot.

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Tags: Pictures, Italy, chaotic, magic-lantern, country