Holiday in Italy! (without Leaving the U.S.)

Laura E. Ruberto (May 20, 2008)
The cult of Italy repackaged for US consumer culture.

Most folks have heard of Venice Beach near Los Angeles and the canals built by Abbot Kinney in the early twentieth century to attract tourists to what was to be “the Coney Island of the West” and the “Venice of America.” Although today Venice Beach is better known for the eccentrics on its boardwalk than the few remaining canals, its mark as a U.S. cultural manifestation of what we might call the “cult of Italy” is pretty deeply set.