Books: Beauty & the Beast

A SUMMER IN ITALY (248 pp.)—Sean O'Faolain—Devin-Adair ($3.50).

"One is constantly meeting travelers who . . . are puzzled that Italians gossip in their churches, kiss behind a pillar, spit in the aisles . . . wheel a bicycle in one door and out another. These observers are equally shocked by the sight of unshaven friars with faces like pirates, begging nuns in the capital of Christendom, gaudy and grubby dolls, tinsel bambinos, baby Virgins and the like in lovely quattrocento churches cheek by jowl with exquisite sculpture; and when I say that I...

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