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Delizia! The Epic History of Italians and their Food

Friday 27 March 2015

1 Hour


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Ticket price

Author and historian John Dickie tells the sometimes murky history of Italian food. Dickie, who has also written books about the Mafia, says the story of Italian food has little to do with the vineyards and olive groves of a sun-bathed Tuscany and much more to do with Italy’s cities and their attraction to ingredients, talent, power and money. Italian food is city food, he argues, and its story is the story of the Italians as city dwellers. Delizia takes readers on a journey from medieval Milan to Fascist Rome, Renaissance Ferrara and the stinking alleys of 19th-century Naples, demonstrating that violence and intrigue combined with taste and creativity to make Italian cuisine.

Dickie is professor of Italian studies at University College, London, and was appointed a Commendatore dell’Ordine della Stella della Solidarietà Italiana by the President of the Italian Republic. His books include Cosa Nostra, Mafia Brotherhoods and Darkest Italy. The Nation and Stereotypes of the Mezzogiorno, 1860-1900.

Here he talks to Fred Plotkin, one of America’s foremost experts on opera and the culture and food of Italy.

This event is part of Italian Day at the festival.