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Pickwick in Italia

3.51  ·  Rating Details ·  283 Ratings  ·  43 Reviews
Con inesauribile e tagliente umorismo, Dickens imperversa per l'Italia del 1844. [...]
Una delle più ilari descrizioni del nostro paese che sia mai stata scritta.
Paperback, 223 pages
Published September 1998 by Touring Club Italiano (first published 1846)
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Dec 19, 2016 Petra rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
"I am not easily dispirited when I have the means of pursuing my own fancies and occupations" - made me laugh....aren't we all happy to have the means to pursue our own fancies?
"It is miserable to see great works of art - something of the Souls of Painters - perishing and fading away"

This is a different Dickens than in his novels, and yet the same. He's humorous, descriptive, observant. But unlike his novels, where he gets to the core of his characters and they come alive, the people in this b
Dec 06, 2012 Tony rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: travel
PICTURES FROM ITALY. (1913). Charles Dickens. ****.
According to a preface written by the author, “This book is a series of faint reflections – mere shaadows in the water – of places to which the imaginations of most people are attracted.” Dickens spent a year touring Italy – including getting there and back – and managed to see a great deal of it, in spite of the difficulty of travel in those days. As a habitual visitor to Italy myself, I really enjoyed his insights into the people and their he
Bianca Cataldi
Being an Italian reader, this book has been a real adventure for me. It's funny to see your country through the eyes of an English author of the XIX century. From Genoa to Florence, from Rome to Naples, my beloved Italy has been told and described by one of the authors I love the most. Descriptions are accurate as usual, and there're also a lot of funny sketches about daily life in Italy. Some pages have made me laugh, some other have made me angry, of course. There's something I'd wish to say t ...more
Martin Bihl
A curious volume from Mr. Dickens. Much better than his "American Notes", perhaps because he seems less disappointed and is more forgiving, but also because it reads less like a reporter's diary and more like a novelist's travelogue. That is, fewer facts and figures about prisons and asylums, more portraits of people and stores of the land. More heart, less head, one could say. Also interesting because one very much senses the development and evolution of the public persona of Dickens here - and ...more
Patti Smith
Oct 02, 2016 Patti Smith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not much love for the Catholic Church but beautiful descriptions of Florence, Naples, Rome and especially dream like Venice.
Mariano Hortal
Publicado en

Aprovechando que hace poco comenté una biografía literaria de Charles Dickens aquí en este mismo blog, voy a tomarlo como referencia para hablar, ahora sí de una sus últimas novelas publicadas, el libro de viajes “Estampas de Italia”. El propio escritor comenta en el prólogo inicial lo que serán sus intenciones con respecto a él:

“Este libro está compuesto por una serie de apuntes leves -meros reflejos en el agua- sobre lugares a los que la im
Dec 02, 2015 Suzanne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While much more famous for his novels, Dickens was also a memorable travel writer. The Pictures from Italy are well-named as they are just that, a kaleidescope of different pictures of various aspects of Italian life as seen by an observant outsider. From the outset, Dickens clarifies that he is not intending to provide a guidebook and that his impressions are personal. Given that he is Dickens, these impressions are well worth noting as they are expressed in his inimitable style with much humou ...more
Rollie Reid
In 1844 Charles Dickens took a break and visited Italy. He takes a house in Genoa, and then after completely trashing Genoa and Italy in general in this book, he takes off on a tour of Italy, taking in all the great sites.

I can only imagine that Dickens was very tired from working on his novels and truly needed the relaxation of an extended vacation, because through most of the book he comes off as more than a little grumpy. That is the best way I can put it.

His prose is wonderful, and his descr
Nov 09, 2014 Christiane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: venice
Wonderfully descriptive

This is a delightful account of Charles Dickens‘ travels through Italy in 1846. The writing, of course, is superb and whereas his novels tend to be a bit too wordy for my taste, this travelogue reads like a breeze.

In his adventurous forays Dickens displays amazing courage, energy and stamina – even braving an ascent of Vesuvius at night. At other times he soaks up the multitude of impressions at leisure – the chapter on Venice is especially charming.

Dickens gives us his p
Feb 13, 2016 Sammy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The 12th of Dickens' 24 major works, Pictures from Italy perhaps competes only with the worst of the Christmas novellas for the coveted prize of "least essential". Travelogues were an important part of the 18th and 19th centuries, when most people were rarely able to leave their country, and it took ages to get anywhere. In his American Notes, Dickens at least had fun on every page crafting a cheeky and less-than-kind portrait of his cousins from across the pond. Here, Dickens seems to dislike a ...more
Mar 09, 2009 Colin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Actually, I'm reading this at for free. At Gutenberg,you can download editions of classic books which have entered the public domain. This is the great-grandaddy of any travel book you've ever read, and it's a treat. Dickens dashed this off while spending a year in Genoa and the writing is such fun that you often forget that he's writing it in 1844. Tourist traps, you'll be interested (if not happy) to know, are not a recent invention.
Wonder how much of what he saw then is still standing? A goo
laura saldarini
I have to say I'm glad to have read this novel.
Nonetheless, I actually don't know if I really liked it.
I was shoked by Dickend's words, by the disgust that he
freely expresses in describing the popular, poor, and run-down
places of Italy.
Unfortunately, I don't know much about the first part of the 19
century (maybe it's time to dust off some of my old history books),
but his words seem to private any beauty of every kind of redemption.

beautifully written are the parts about the marble quarries o
Michael B.
Jun 03, 2013 Michael B. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Even though I love every thing I have read by Charles Dickens, I didn't think I was going to enjoy this as much as I did. I was afraid that without his interesting characters and plot this travel book would not hold my interest but of course the people he meets a long the way and Italy itself are the characters. I enjoyed his descriptions of the people and places, and his views on art and religion.
Dec 11, 2010 Garry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My favorite author in my favorite country...a perfect combination. The first twenty or so pages were slow going, but then again they were for Dickens, too. At this point in the book/journey he was going by carriage through France. When he arrives in sunny Italy, everything improves and the book has the charm, warmth, love of life, and (pardon this France) joi de vivre that makes Italy such an invigorating and stimulating place to visit - today, AND in the mid1800s.
Charles Dickens is one of my favourite writers of all time - this is his very curious account of his travels through Italy. His prose, as with his novels, is entertaining and slightly ironic at times. He paints a portrait of the people, the landscapes, and the incidents surrounding his journey - not always beautiful, but always beautifully put.
I'm working my way through Dickens' major works and I wasn't looking forward to this one but it was ok. You wouldn't read it cover to cover in one go, though. Bits of it were quite dull, but some passages were very interesting in their own right and some of the description was vintage: could have come from A Christmas Carol or Martin Chuzzlewit which he was writing around the same time.
Frank Miller
Charles Dickens seems to hate Italy, until the very end where he wants to forgive it. The real problem that I had with to book is that travel writing should offer you a sharp colorful picture of a place, even if sometimes idealized. With Dickens, Italy seemed like a blurred, faded sepia place seen through an ill composed photograph.
Perhaps mistakenly, I expected more humour from this travelogue, a la Mark Twain in The Innocents Abroad (which I enjoyed tremendously). Anyway, based on Dickens' writing, it seems that Italy hasn't changed very much since 1846!
Aug 29, 2011 Barbara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Charles Dickens applied his eye for detail and his humor to travel writing. I loved it. I've been trying to read Mark Twain's Innocents Abroad for a year and it feels vague and sarcastic in contrast.
Mar 23, 2015 Emma rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oh Chuck, he was like a very snarky but charming dinner guest in his descriptions of Italy. It could have been coming from the dear Dowager Countess of Grantham's mouth herself. I did enjoy it, he was very descriptive and it is nice to be so descriptive about a world that is completely gone to us.
Aug 09, 2013 Roneice is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Loving Travel and having lived in southern Italy when I was young (many years ago) I am enjoying what I have read so far. I didn't know Charles Dickens had written anything like this. That fact alone makes it interesting for me. This was a free eBook.
Krisette Spangler
I wish I could say that I enjoyed this more, because Dickens' writing is always wonderful. However, I found myself feeling annoyed with his talk of how dirty certain areas and people of Italy were. He had a very "the English are a superior people" attitude that I found tiresome.
Sep 22, 2012 Melodee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 19th-century, british
This is a travelogue of the author's time spent in Italy. I really enjoyed the detail in his descriptions of towns and scenery. It gives an overall impression of a leisurely amble through the Italian countryside, as well as criticism of things like the Vatican. It is an interesting critique.
I got the complete works of Dickens for my Kindle for $1! I'm laughing out loud when I read this. The description of the dungeons in the Palais des Papes in Avignon, where the Inquisition took place is horrifying and funny at the same time, because the 'goblin' who gave the tour is hilarious.
May 22, 2012 Susan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: italy, classics
This was fun to read, as one of my favorite English novelists describes his travels in my favorite European country. I loved
his descriptions of Rome and Florence especially and how much he
appreciated the Italian lifestyle, festivals, costumes, food, attitudes, etc.
Dave Turner
I've always not enjoyed reading travel log books and one's like this where the author himself isn't enjoying himself are excruciating. After this and his previous outing in 'American Notes', I'll choose to just remember the great man who wrote this for his amazing works of fiction instead.
Katrina McCollough, I'm not a huge fan of this small series I just really don't enjoy his point of view. Obviously lots of Christian overtones.
Apr 23, 2015 RAW rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A little slow and random musings about a trip taken through Italy. Listened to as an audio from Librivox in preparation for our trip to Italy this summer. NF
Dec 05, 2011 Sarah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love reading what people have written about of my favourite places I've been, and Dickens does it in style.
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Charles John Huffam Dickens (7 February 1812 – 9 June 1870) was an English writer and social critic. He created some of the world's best-known fictional characters and is regarded as the greatest novelist of the Victorian era. His works enjoyed unprecedented popularity during his lifetime, and by the twentieth century critics and scholars had recognised him as a literary genius. His novels and sho ...more
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“It is a place that 'grows upon you' every day. There seems to be always something to find out in it. There are the most extraordinary alleys and by-ways to walk about in. You can lose your way (what a comfort that is, when you are idle!) twenty times a day, if you like; and turn up again, under the most unexpected and surprising difficulties. It abounds in the strangest contrasts; things that are picturesque, ugly, mean, magnificent, delightful, and offensive, break upon the view at every turn.” 3 likes
“And let us not remember Italy the less regardfully, because, in every fragment of her fallen Temples, and every stone of her deserted palaces and prisons, she helps to inculcate the lesson that the wheel of Time is rolling for an end, and that the world is, in all great essentials, better, gentler, more forbearing, and more hopeful, as it rolls!” 3 likes
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