Saving Italy

  • by Robert Edsel
  • Narrated by Edoardo Ballerini
  • 11 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

When Hitler’s armies occupied Italy in 1943, they also seized control of mankind’s greatest cultural treasures. As they had done throughout Europe, the Nazis could now plunder the masterpieces of the Renaissance, the treasures of the Vatican, and the antiquities of the Roman Empire. On the eve of the Allied invasion, General Dwight Eisenhower empowered a new kind of soldier to protect these historic riches. In May 1944 two unlikely American heroes—artist Deane Keller and scholar Fred Hartt—embarked from Naples on the treasure hunt of a lifetime, tracking billions of dollars of missing art, including works by Michelangelo, Donatello, Titian, Caravaggio, and Botticelli.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

More Personalities than Art Chasing

Compelling WWII history keeps me awake at night, risking of a garroting by earbud wires carefully tucked under my pillow. Not this story however. I hit the off button after ten minutes or so.

The story is an important one; where did the art stolen by the Nazis end up? However, the novel is 3/5 personalities and 2/5 art chasing (I'm being generous). The film Monuments Men, from which this book derives, needed plenty of embellishments to forge a screen play out this rather thin tale based on even thinner records.

There are some great vignettes about very famous art works that make the listener go, "huh" or "what a tragedy." It's just not a whole credit's worth. So…listen to be informed, not entertained, if you chose this book.
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- Craig

Fascinating story, excellent narration

If you could sum up Saving Italy in three words, what would they be?

For lovers of art, Italian culture and history.

What other book might you compare Saving Italy to and why?

"Monuments Men," also by Robert Edsel, which covers the activities in Northeastern Europe (Belgium, France, Germany, Austria.) That book is also excellent, but the narration in this case is far superior..Edoardo Ballerini has a perfect accent in both American English and Italian, so names are pronounced correctly, as are the quotations in the Italian language. Also, unlike the narrator of "Monuments Men," he does not put on goofy accents when reading direct quotes of non American characters.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

So many...The destruction of the the venerable monastery at Monte Cassino by the Americans for fear of Germans using it as a hiding place...this was one of the events that led to creation of the Monuments Men.The destruction of Florence's bridges by the Nazis, including one believed to have been designed by Michelangelo...The destruction of Camposanto in Pisa..

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- MetroLady

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-06-2013
  • Publisher: Recorded Books