On and Off the Beaten Path: A Year in Ferrara, Italy
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Travel and its accompanying literature have long been popular in modern societies. Early forms of the genre reflected attributes of the anthropological ethnography and were focused upon educating and informing their readers of foreign lands and cultures. During the eighteenth century, however, there was a significant shift in the genre as more travel writers focused their literature on their own introspective journeys alongside their physical ones. Today, the most widely accepted form of travel writing involves such a personal, philosophical journey through time and space in a foreign land. After an introduction that covers the history of both travel and travel writing, this work includes a travelogue of my year in Ferrara, Italy. In the process, this thesis attempts to reconcile the historic roots of travel writing with ethnography, as I reflect upon both Italian culture and my own place within its context over the course of my year in the country.