The Life and Adventures of Giovanni Battista Belzoni, the Most Famous Italian in the World
Original title: L’italiano più famoso del mondo—Vita e avventure di Giovanni Battista Belzoni
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HISTORY | BIOGRAPHY
Gaia Servadio, multi-talented writer, raises the rate of beauty and elegance in culture, in Italy and beyond. Based in London but a citizen of the world, she’s spent her life and devoted her writing to trespassing multiple boundaries.
Giovanni Battista Belzoni is the most important archaeologist of Egyptian antiquities ever. During three archeological expeditions between 1816 and 1819 he discovered a dozen tombs in the Valley of Kings, among which the celebrated Seti I’s tomb, also known as “The Egyptian Sistine Chapel”, and the entrances to the Pyramid of Kahfre and to the Great Temple of Abu Simbel. It’s little wonder that George Lucas chose him as a model for the well-known character of Indiana Jones. Not only was Belzoni an extraordinary scholar, but also a very eccentric character for his epoch: seven feet tall, he escaped recruitment in the army by hiding in a monastery, peddled talismans in Paris, and played Sampson’s character on Britain’s stages, before devoting his life to Egypt.
With her trademark passion and accuracy in researching and writing the lives of many great Italians, Gaia Servadio tells the incredibly adventurous life of one of the most fascinating protagonists of modern archaeology, considered in his time the most famous Italian man in the world.
Gaia Servadio was born in Padua in 1938 and she has been living in London since she was twenty. Novelist, essayist, broadcaster and journalist, she works with some of the most important Italian and English newspapers (“The Times,” “The Sunday Times,” “The Observer,” “The Telegraph Group,” “Il Corriere della Sera” and “La Stampa”). She was news correspondent during the Six-Day War, and she has lived in Syria, US, France, USSR. She works for radio and TV (BBC radio, BBCTV2 and BBCTV4, Channel 4 and RAI). She has published more than twenty books which have been translated into many languages. In 2014, she published her autobiography Raccogliamo le vele (Feltrinelli).