450: Hales, Dianne. La Bella Lingua: My Love Affair with Italian, the World’s Most Enchanting Language. New York: Broadway Books, 2010. 336 pp. ISBN 978-0-7679-2770-3.
- 400: Language
- 450: Italian, Sardinian, Dalmatian, Romanian, and Rhaeto-Romanic languages
Italian really is one of the world’s most enchanting languages. Dianne Hales’s La Bella Lingua takes the reader on a sumptuous journey through the words of Michelangelo, Dante, and Verdi. Although Italian only has about a third of the words that English has, their meanings are more precise and more elegant. Each word becomes a story. Take “furbo” for example. It means a small deception, but a furbetto is a small child who gains through deception, a furbastro makes money through trickery, and a furbizia is a clever use of deception in language. Only Italian could pull off these hidden layers.