This is a light-hearted subject, but an important one, too. I first became interested in Italian hand gestures after I read that a key soccer game was once lost because the coach explained (complete with hand gestures) what he wanted an incoming player to do. Once the player was in the game, the opposing coach (who saw but did not hear the plan) was able to stop it. What's not to love? This is the best of several books on the subject, and it can be treated as pure entertainment or something to study before a trip to the 'bel paese' -- it works well in both contexts. The gestures are clearly explained, and the subject matter skillfully stays clear of the ridicule or overly comic elements that plague some similar efforts. My take: there's hardly a more interesting way to prepare for a trip to Italy than to open a bottle of dolcetto and practice these gestures with your travel partner. A side note: Italians get a big friendly laugh from forigners who accurately use their hand gestures!
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