Two soldiers travel across Italy at the height of summer, passing through Genoa, Rome and Naples. One of the soldiers is blind, graceful, gleefully vicious and wears a prosthetic arm; the other, twenty years his junior, is his guide. But as these men drink their way through bars, brothels and train carriages, who is guiding who? Only as they reluctantly approach the blind man's destination, and a stifled love affair, does the purpose of the trip become tragically clear.
The inspiration for two acclaimed films, Scent of a Woman is a lyrical exploration of regret, defiance, and what it really means to see.
Giovanni Arpino (1927 - 1987) was an Italian writer and journalist. Born in Pula, he married Caterina Brero before moving to Turin, where he would remain for the rest of his life. In 1952 Arpino made his literary debut with the novel Sei stato felice, Giovanni, published by Einaudi. He also took up sports journalism, writing for daily papers; he brought a new literary quality to Italian writing on sport. His most important work in this line was the 1977 football novel Azzurro tenebra. Arpino also wrote plays, short stories, epigrams and stories for children. His story Il buio e il miele was made into two films: Dino Risi's Profumo di donna, with Vittorio Gassman, and Martin Brest's Scent of a Woman, which earnt Al Pacino an Academy Award for Best Actor. Arpino died in Turin in 1987.