Dedicated to the cultural phenomenon of the Grand Tour, this book analyses the motives, the ideologies, and the trends that promoted the educational journey of several European countries, Italy included, between the sixteenth and the nineteenth centuries. The book examines also the rules that govern travel literature, and, on an aesthetic level, the criteria behind landscape painting and picturesque descriptions. These two extraordinary genres, born with the Grand Tour, gave way to an exceptional out-put of diaries, guides, sketchbooks and watercolour albums. Since the success of a journey, which often lasted years, such as the Grand Tour, was contingent on the discovery of innovative travel techniques, the book also looks into the material aspects of the journey, the means of transportation, accidents, brigands, the worst reputed inns, and all of those elements which often transformed the educational journey into an adventurous confrontation with the unknown. As Lord Chesterfield once reminded his son, the Grand Tour with its pleasures and afflictions was, after all, a metaphor for the journey of life.
Attilio Brilli is Professor of Anglo-American Literature at the University of Siena.
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