The Beautiful Country: Tourism and the Impossible State of Destination Italy

By Stephanie Malia Hom

© 2015

Every year, Italy swells with millions of tourists who infuse the economy with billions of dollars and almost outnumber Italians themselves. In fact, Italy has been a model tourist destination for longer than it has been a modern state. The Beautiful Country explores the enduring popularity of “destination Italy,” and its role in the development of the global mass tourism industry. Stephanie Malia Hom tracks the evolution of this particular touristic imaginary through texts, practices, and spaces, beginning with the guidebooks that frame Italy as an idealized land of leisure and finishing with destination Italy’s replication around the world. Today, more tourists encounter Italy through places like Las Vegas’s The Venetian Hotel and Casino or Dubai’s Mercato shopping mall than experience the country in Italy itself.

Using an interdisciplinary methodology that includes archival research, ethnographic fieldwork, literary criticism, and spatial analysis, The Beautiful Country reveals destination Italy’s paramount role in the creation of modern mass tourism.

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Product Details

  • Series: Toronto Italian Studies
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 320 pages
  • Illustrations: 37
  • Dimensions: 6.3in x 1.1in x 9.3in
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SKU# SP003852

  • PUBLISHED FEB 2015

    From: $59.25

    Regular Price: $79.00

    ISBN 9781442648722
  • PUBLISHED FEB 2015

    From: $59.25

    Regular Price: $79.00

Quick Overview

Using an interdisciplinary methodology that includes archival research, ethnographic fieldwork, literary criticism, and spatial analysis, The Beautiful Country reveals destination Italy’s paramount role in the creation of modern mass tourism.

The Beautiful Country: Tourism and the Impossible State of Destination Italy

By Stephanie Malia Hom

© 2015

Every year, Italy swells with millions of tourists who infuse the economy with billions of dollars and almost outnumber Italians themselves. In fact, Italy has been a model tourist destination for longer than it has been a modern state. The Beautiful Country explores the enduring popularity of “destination Italy,” and its role in the development of the global mass tourism industry. Stephanie Malia Hom tracks the evolution of this particular touristic imaginary through texts, practices, and spaces, beginning with the guidebooks that frame Italy as an idealized land of leisure and finishing with destination Italy’s replication around the world. Today, more tourists encounter Italy through places like Las Vegas’s The Venetian Hotel and Casino or Dubai’s Mercato shopping mall than experience the country in Italy itself.

Using an interdisciplinary methodology that includes archival research, ethnographic fieldwork, literary criticism, and spatial analysis, The Beautiful Country reveals destination Italy’s paramount role in the creation of modern mass tourism.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • Series: Toronto Italian Studies
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 320 pages
  • Illustrations: 37
  • Dimensions: 6.3in x 1.1in x 9.3in
  • Reviews

    ‘The book is a fresh and fascinating case study… Hom provides a rich history of travel to and within Italy. And she makes readers aware of the many artificial environments around the world designed to draw on Italy’s allure.’


    Helen Lefkowitz Horowitz
    Business History Review vol 90:01:2016

    The Beautiful Country provides a detailed, informative, and often surprising account of the development of Italy as a destination, as well as a fascinating series of instances of how ‘Italy’ travels. Hom draws on a wide range of primary and secondary material in what is truly an interdisciplinary project.”
    Derek Duncan, School of Modern Languages, University of St. Andrews

    “A sophisticated and exhaustively researched study of Italy within the context of modern tourism and representational practices.”
    Nathalie Hester, Department of Romance Languages, University of Oregon

    The Beautiful Country tackles a fascinating topic. There is nothing more deserving of sustained scholarly attention than tourism, and Italy is a vital location for such a discussion.”
    D. Medina Lasansky, Department of Architecture, Cornell University
  • Author Information

    Stephanie Malia Hom is Presidential Professor of Italian in the Department of Modern Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics at the University of Oklahoma.
  • Table of contents

    Introduction

    Texts

    1. Codes of Travel: Italy’s Guidebook Tradition

    2. Italian Montage: On Rhetoric & Representations

    Practices

    3. Destination Nation: The Grand Tour, Thomas Cook, & the Arrival of Mass Tourism

    4. Tours of Duty: Touring Clubs, Fascist Agencies, & the Domestic Tourism Industry

    5. Masses in Transit: The New Economy of Tourism in the 20th Century

    Spaces

    6. Italy Without Borders: Simulacra, Simulation, & the Postmodern Grand Tour

    7. Postmodern Passages: Souvenirs, Theme Parks, Outlet Malls, & the Body of the Simulated Nation

    Conclusion

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