Sheer enthusiasm for beauty

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That is another reason for the importance of what is visible: the sheer enthusiasm for beauty that infuses life in Italy. Unless they go back to classical times, Italians cannot take pride in a glorious imperial past. Even the Venetian Empire was pretty small beer when compared with the empires of Spain and Portugal, or more recently those of Britain and France. There were moments when the states of central and northern Italy were richer than any in Europe.

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And from Galileo Galilei to Enrico Fermi, Italians have more than held their own in the area of scientific discovery. But their truly outstanding contributions to mankind have been in the arts, and particularly the visual arts.

Historically, Italians have stood out in anything that has to do with what is visible, be it the art of the Renaissance or modern car design.

The areas in which they have excelled include painting, architecture, sculpture, cinema and of course opera, which gives visual expression to music.

As for fashion, they have been setting international trends since Shakespeare had York in Richard II cite Report of fashions in proud Italy, Whose manners still our tardy apish nation Limps after in base imitation . . .

Hooper, John. The Italians (p. 76). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

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