Around the world in 80 cigars

The culture of slow smoking often goes hand in hand with an ironic, joyful and light-hearted approach to life. Let us draw on the age of Enlightenment and listen to François de La Rochefoucauld, in charge of diplomatic relationships in the Americas for the French government, who wrote: “Cigar is a great resource. One needs to have roamed in the woods, alone, to understand this, because what the cigar lacks is the pleasure of smoking. Its benefit is merely moral. Are you inclined to boredom? The cigar keeps you busy and entertained.
Are you inclined to bad mood? The cigar dissolves this inclination. Are you bothered by nonsense questions? The use of the cigar exempts you from answering without being too rude. Have you hardly found anything to eat at the hotel? The cigar staves off hunger. Are you haunted by sad ideas? The cigar leads you to delve into abstraction, into numbness instead of grievance. Finally, do you have any sweet memory, any comforting thought? The cigar allows you to linger over that. Sometimes it goes out, and a happy man is the one who does not feel the need to immediately light it again”.
“Exactly, that is to exalt the pleasure before it fades away”. Lord Brummel said that, or rather, would say that. This dandy par excellence is one of the characters of the book “Around the world in 80 cigars” written by Paolo Brinis, with illustrations by Riccardo Dalisi. A trip on an imaginary hot-air balloon, which will host a series of famous past and present characters who get on board one by one to talk, among other things, about cigars.
The author does not therefore merely philosophize on the ontology of the cigar, but he also analyzes the world that surrounds it.

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Because cigar has always meant passions and polemics, enchantment and intrigue, irony and subtle pleasures of life. It is not by chance that it is and has been smoked, over the centuries, by the main personalities of politics and show business, art and literature. Men, but also women. Writers, poets, journalists, commaders, statesmen find in the cigar a loyal companion, always ready to play each time the role it is required.

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