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It all began in 1558, the year that Giovanni Della Casa’s Galateo was published, a treatise on manners and customs that he wrote during the four years he spent in retreat at the Abbey of Saint Eustache from 1551 to 1555.
Written according to Platonic dialogue, with the young interlocutor Annibale listening to lessons from the old master, each page is a condensed lesson on diplomacy and the life in the palace court, of which the author himself during his position as nuncio of Venice.
The treatise is divided into thirty chapters based around questions of etiquette: situations rage from how servants and diners should behave at the table, how to behave in company, the most appropriate way to dress, wear one’s hair (and facial hair), walk, in what tone and volume one should speak, how to pleasantly converse and offer advice.
Photo courtesy taccuinistorici.it