My essentials: Daniel Cossai’s cultural picks

102 | Daniel Cossai, 28, freelance translator

1. Book

The Betrothed (I Promessi Sposi), by Alessandro Manzoni, in Michael Moore’s fantastic recent English translation. I usually read contemporary translated fiction, but every summer I enjoy tackling one of the tomes of classic world literature. There is something comforting in spending several warm, sunny weeks relishing a story that has captivated generations of readers. Although many feel classic books tend to be slow-paced or boring, Manzoni’s novel is far from so. Full of chases, love, jealousy, and murder, it remains a favourite in Italy.

2. Film

The Tourist, starring Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie. Having lived thousands of kilometres away from my dad for most of my life, earlier this year it was the first film in over 20 years we watched together from beginning to end, no phones or distractions. Would I recommend it? It is fun and Venice is ever the charming setting, but it is nothing to write home about. Nevertheless, it will always have a special, nostalgic place in my heart.

3. TV/Internet 

In the several months I spent overseas this year, I became a daily spectator of the UK and Australian versions of the quiz show The Chase. As someone who likes to learn a little bit about everything, I’ve always delighted in quiz shows, and this is probably one of the best ones I’ve seen. On a similar note, I discovered The Hustle newsletter some months ago, a gold mine for general knowledge lovers.

4. Music

If I had to pick one song, I would say Marco Mengoni’s ‘Due Vite’. I wouldn’t call myself a Eurovision fan, but I always enjoy a good Italian song. I played it on repeat in my car for several weeks, so it takes the cake for me.

5. Place

Without a doubt, Perth, Western Australia. I spent several months there this year, and it’s a place that has always had a very special significance to me. Getting the chance to spend so much time there, enjoying the city and beyond, as well as other states in Australia was a very special experience and one, I will never forget. It is a truly unique continent for nature lovers, and I would recommend the less trodden Western Australia to anyone who’s planning to visit.