italy

Lidia Matticchio Bastianich is a successful restaurateur, the author of many best-selling cookbooks, and the Emmy award-winning host of public television's "Lidia's Kitchen," which also airs internationally. She is also a judge on MasterChef Junior Italy and Italy's highly rated daily program "La Prova del Cuoco." 

Lidia's story begins with her upbringing in Pula, a formerly Italian city turned Yugoslavian under Tito's communist regime. She enjoys a childhood surrounded by love and security, despite the family's poverty, learning everything about Italian cooking from her beloved grandmother, Nonna Rosa. When the communist regime begins investigating the family, they flee to Trieste, Italy, where they spend two years in a refugee camp waiting for visas to enter the United States -- an experience that will shape Lidia for the rest of her life.

Her new memoir is "My American Dream: A Life of Love, Family, and Food."

Celebrated and bestselling author of "The Imperfectionists," Tom Rachman has set his sights on a new subject - artists, in his new novel, "The Italian Teacher," about the son of a great painter striving to create his own legacy.

Pinch Bavinsky, son of the world-famous painter Bear Bavinksy, is an aspiring artist living in the shadow of his famous father, struggling to build a legacy of his own. Rachman explores the tension between the creative life and family life through Pinch’s most important relationships.

  Joe Donahue will interview legendary actress and Academy Award-winner Sophia Loren on stage at Proctors in Schenectady, NY on Sunday, March 13 at 3pm.

Sophia Loren became known for her striking beauty and dramatic roles with famed costars Cary Grant, Frank Sinatra, Marlon Brando, Gregory Peck, Jack Lemmon, and Paul Newman. The luminous Italian movie star has earned a remarkable array of notable accolades, including the first Academy Award presented for a foreign-language role with Two Women.

She has earned a record six David Di Donatello Awards for Best Actress, a GRAMMY Award and five special Golden Globe Awards, as well as the Honorary Academy Award in 1991 in acknowledgement of her indelible contributions to world cinema. In 1995, she received the Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement.

  Umberto Eco, an Italian scholar and author of best-selling novels, notably The Name of the Rose, died on Friday at his home in Milan, Italy. He was 84.

As a semiotician – one who studies signs and symbols and how they are used – Mr. Eco sought to interpret cultures and his scholarly studies were infused into his fiction writing.

Umberto Eco joined us on The Book Show in 2012 to discuss his then most-recent novel, The Prague Cemetery – a work that was denounced by the Vatican. We air a portion of that conversation in memoriam today. 

  They came from the poorest parts of Ireland and Italy, and met as rivals on the sidewalks of New York. In the nineteenth century and for long after, the Irish and Italians fought in the Catholic Church, on the waterfront, at construction sites, and in the streets.

Then they made peace through romance, marrying each other on a large scale in the years after World War II. An Unlikely Union by Paul Moses unfolds the dramatic story of how two of America’s largest ethnic groups learned to love and laugh with each other in the wake of decades of animosity.

    Joseph Luzzi is the author of Romantic Europe and the Ghost of Italy, which won the Scaglione Prize for Italian Studies from the Modern Language Association. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Bookforum, and The Times Literary Supplement. He has received an essay award from the Dante Society of America, a teaching prize from Yale College, and a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The first American-born child in his Italian family, he earned his doctorate from Yale University and is a professor at Bard College.

In his new book, My Two Italies, Joseph Luzzi - child of Italian immigrants and an award-winning scholar of Italian literature - straddles these two perspectives to link his family’s dramatic story to Italy’s north-south divide, its quest for a unifying language, and its passion for art, food, and family.

    When Hitler’s armies occupied Italy in 1943, they also seized control of mankind’s greatest cultural treasures. As they had done throughout Europe, the Nazis could now plunder the masterpieces of the Renaissance, the treasures of the Vatican, and the antiquities of the Roman Empire. 

Robert Edsel joins us to talk about the efforts to save Italy’s great artistic treasures from the Nazis. 

His book is Saving Italy: The Race to Rescue a Nation's Treasures from the Nazis.


This story is based on monstrous and mysterious events of the 19th century including death of Ippolito Nievo, the forgery of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the Dreyfus affair and more. In the world Eco creates, conspiracies abound and one man finds himself in the middle of it all.

Umberto Eco's Website
Music - Depeche Mode

This is a repeat of The Book Show #1219.

Italian authorities say a powerful earthquake has killed at least 15 people and others may be missing in the latest deadly temblor to hit northern Italy.

The Tuesday morning quake had a 5.8 magnitude, rocking one of Italy's most productive regions.

Thousands of people have been living in tents in the area since a 6.0 magnitude quake devastated towns north of Bologna on May 20.

Factories, warehouses and churches collapsed in the mid-morning quake in the Emilia Romagna region.

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