Skip to Main Content

Delizia!

The Epic History of the Italians and Their Food

Perfect for fans of La Cucina and Stanley Tucci’s Taste, a vivid and passionate celebration of Italian food that explores its rich history and how it became the world’s favorite cuisine.

In this “revelatory history of gourmet Italy from antiquity to today” (Publishers Weekly), the fascinating story of how one vast country comprised of uniquely distinct regions came to produce some of the most delicious and beloved foods of all time is expertly revealed.

If you want to understand Italian food, it’s important to recognize one central insight: Italian food is city food. It’s not coincidental that so many Italian foods and dishes are named after cities: bistecca alla fiorentina, prosciutto di Parma, pizza napoletana. Italy has the world’s longest unbroken tradition of urban living, and food has played an integral role in that tradition.

Delizia! explores this dynamic history by focusing on one great food per city per era, beginning, of course, with the introduction of pasta by Muslims to Sicily in the Middle Ages. Each chapter relates a key moment in a single city’s gastronomic past and, together, these slices of life build into a single narrative that spans the centuries and evokes the look, the atmosphere, and the taste of past and present. Celebratory and compelling, Delizia! proves that “if we are what we eat, who wouldn’t want to be Italian” (The Times, London).

Photo Credit:

John Dickie lectures in Italian Studies at University College London. Cosa Nostra, his award-winning history of the Sicilian mafia, has been translated into twenty languages and has sold nearly half a million copies throughout the world; it was hailed in Italy as the best book ever written about the Mafia. In 2005 the president of the Italian Republic appointed him a Commendatore dell'Ordine della Stella della Solidarietà Italiana. He lives in London with his family.