Tuesday, May 12, 2015

The Treccani is your friend

Far away and long ago an Italian industrialist named Giovanni Treccani set up the Treccani Institute. This was in 1925, three years after Fascism came to power. His aim was to publish authoritative reference works in Italian, similar to the encyclopedias he had seen elsewhere in Europe. He did a great job. His main claim to fame was the Enciclopedia italiana. This is a fabulous work which I remember reading at the beautiful main library at the University of Michigan, when I was a grad student. You wouldn't think that an encyclopedia published during Fascism would be worth much, but it has in fact become legendary. And being Italian you know you're going to have great illustrations.

Well, Treccani has survived and flourished throughout the decades since its establishment. It now has an online presence which will be of use to you if you are interested in Italian language and culture. Which is not unlikely if you are on this site. The online resources includes the site, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and WebTV. Unfortunately, I found no English, so this is for those of you who are somewhat advanced. It is incredibly rich, and you could spend many happy hours perusing it. I would bookmark it, it's that good. And being from Treccani, it is thoroughly authoritative. Best of all: no more Fascists.