Loads of Dolce Vita: The ramp book charts

The summer holidays are just over, but you still don't want to give up the easy life in Italy? Help is at hand. And in large and weighty book portions. But there are also road trip tips for the USA, as well as screen legends and a motorsport icon.
Text Wiebke Brauer
Photo Presse

E-Type on Waves

Yacht builder Riva is celebrating two anniversaries this year. One: The original boatyard at Lake Iseo was founded by Pietro Riva in 1842. Two: The Riva Aquarama developed by Carlo Riva was launched in 1962. Complicit in the boat’s success was Fiat boss Gianni Agnelli: When Riva was testing the prototype in Monaco, Agnelli asked if he could drive it. He did – and the sleek mahogany speedboat soon became the epitome of La Dolce Vita.

Sean Connery owned one, as did famous playboy Gunter Sachs, the third husband of Brigitte Bardot. About 650 of the 760 boats that were built still exist today. You can imagine the prices. An homage in paper form is a bit more affordable, though you will still have to make an effort to acquire one – the book is very much in demand.

Michael Verdon: Riva Aquarama. Assouline. €920.00

What a Way to Go!

“You know a man finally by what he does, not by what he says or how blue his eyes are,” director Martin Ritt once said. He was speaking about actor Paul Newman. Some facts about Paul Newman that you may not have known: Born in 1925 in Shaker Heights, Ohio, he served as a turret gunner in an Avenger torpedo bomber during World War II and was the sole survivor of his unit. Upon his return from the war, he dutifully continued working at his father’s sporting goods store until the latter’s death in 1950. Newman became a superstar at the age of thirty-eight, was nominated for an Academy Award ten times, but won (apart from an Oscar for his life’s work) only once – for his performance in The Color of Money.

Terry O'Neill / Iconic Images

And then there was his salad dressing, with which he launched his food empire Newman’s Own. Most people do know that he had a somewhat successful racing career. He himself once said that racing was a good way to escape all the garbage in Hollywood. HBO recently aired a six-part documentary about Newman and Joanne Woodward, his wife of fifty years. And then there’s this wonderful book with previously unpublished photographs of the actor. In other words, there are plenty of opportunities to rediscover this truly extraordinary man.

James Clarke: Paul Newman:
Blue-Eyed Cool. ACC Art Books.

More about a Legend

You would think there was nothing left to say about the Ford GT40. The car has been put through the pop culture mill countless times and every secret has been revealed. But then there’s this new book of thirty-two stories with new insights into this fascinating car: its design and development, racing tales and rivals, the Scuderia Filipinetti team that entered the car at Le Mans in 1965, the name controversy of 2005, the undocumented engine swap. You never stop learning. That’s a good thing.

John Allen & Colin Endeacott: Ford GT40 Anthology: A Unique Compilation of Stories About these Most Iconic Cars. Veloce. €57.00

East of Eden

“Thus I discovered that I did not know my own country,” John Steinbeck wrote in Travels with Charley: In Search of America. In the fall of 1960, the author, eighty-five years old at the time, started on a road trip through America in a pick-up truck he had named Rocinante, after Don Quixote’s horse, fitted with a custom camper-shell for the journey. We recommend picking up this still very relevant work, which is more social criticism than travel novel, as well as the illustrated book The Great American Road Trip – and then hit the road.

gestalten, Aether & Laura Austin:
The Great American Road Trip: Roam the Roads From Coast to Coast. gestalten.

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