'Long before the advent of modern tourism, Australians travelled to live in Italy, or undertook extensive visits there. Indeed they continue to do so in increasing numbers, as women and men find Italian partners; as business people with European interests settle there; as retirees in their thousands seek "the good life" that Italy - in Ros Pesman's words, this "culturally endowed place of rebirth" - seems to promise.
'While many are familiar with celebrated expatriates such as Germaine Greer, Jeffrey Smart, Peter Robb and David Malouf, hundreds of other artists, writers, musicians and intellectuals have made and continue to make a notable contribution to the cultural and intellectual lives of both countries. Whilst Australian Studies flourishes in Italian universities, Australian academics write distinguished accounts of Italian history covering various eras. Despite this sustained activity, the scholarly and cultural engagement of Australians with Italy is not a well known story.
'This collection seeks to map the past and present of the Australian love affair with Italy, and yields rich insights into its causes, motivations and transformations. Contributors include former Australian Ambassador to Italy Rory Steele, poet Peter Porter, contemporary artists Euan Heng and Jo-Anne Duggan, as well as distinguished academics and young scholars. Amongst the diverse range of articles and vignettes are chapters by Ian Britain on Donald Friend's Italian years, Loretta Baldassar exploring the phenomenon of reverse migration, and novelist Lisa Clifford reflecting on her family ties with Italy.
'Australians in Italy will appeal to scholars and students of migration and multiculturalism, Australian Studies, Italian Studies, and tourism and travel. It will also delight those interested in Italy and all things Italian - people of Italo-Australian backgrounds, armchair and actual travellers, sojourners in Italy, and the general reader.' (Publisher's blurb)