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15 months ago

Barbara R. Cochran, MFA  See profile asked this question:

Language pair:

Italian > English

Subject:

General

Level of diffculty:

Easy / medium

Word or term in question:

era troppo bello

Context:

Ancora alla vigilia del primo viaggio di Cristoforo Colombo, il celebre, bellissimo Mappamondo di Fra Mauro disegnava l'Estremo Oriente sulla base delle descrizioni di quel libro, nonostante che, crollato l'impero mongolo, la geografia della Cina fosse completamente cambiata. L'Oriente di cui aveva parlato Marco Polo era troppo bello perché si potesse immaginare diverso.

The usual translations for the phrase just don't seem to fill the bill.

 

 

The answer of exegete  See profile was rated best

was too good [to be imagined differently]

My comment:

"L'Oriente di cui aveva parlato Marco Polo era troppo bello perché si potesse immaginare diverso.":

"The East of which Marco Polo had spoken was too good to be imagined differently."

derived from the expression: "was too good to be true".

This Italian sentence construction is described under c. at https://www.wordreference.com/iten/perch%C3%A9 :

"c. (consecutivo: cosicché):

l'ostacolo ***era troppo alto perché si potesse*** scavalcarlo:

the obstacle ***was too high to*** climb over

***è troppo forte perché si possa*** vincerlo:

he ***is too strong to be*** beaten (o: for anyone to beat him)"

---
The standard expression is: "it's too **good** to be true" : "è troppo **bello** per essere vero"

at https://www.wordreference.com/enit/too%20good%20to%20be%20true

Derived expressions: "too good to" are translated by "troppo bello per":

https://context.reverso.net/translation/english-italian/too+good+to :

"You agreed that clip ***was too good to trash***.

Anche per te quel video ***era troppo bello per non postarlo***."

"I look ***too good to be sick***.

Sono ***troppo bello per sembrare malato***."

"Then we saw ***an opportunity too good to miss***.

Poi vedemmo ***un'opportunità troppo bella per lasciarcela sfuggire***."

--------
"Ancora alla vigilia del primo viaggio di Cristoforo Colombo, il celebre, bellissimo Mappamondo di Fra Mauro disegnava l'Estremo Oriente sulla base delle descrizioni di quel libro, nonostante che, crollato l'impero mongolo, la geografia della Cina fosse completamente cambiata." :

"Still on the eve of Christopher Columbus's first voyage, Fra Mauro's famous and beautiful World Map represented the Far East based on that book's descriptions [= Marco Pollo's book on the Far East*], even though, after the collapse of the Mongol empire, the geography of China was completely changed."

* https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marco_Polo :

"His travels are recorded in Livre des merveilles du monde (Book of ***the Marvels of the World***, also known as The Travels of Marco Polo, c. 1300), a book that described to Europeans ***the wealth and great size of China***, its capital Peking, and ***other Asian cities and countries***. "

======================

=> it's sort of wishful thinking:

they did not want to imagine the Far East differently than the way Marco Pollo (and his ghost writer) had so beautifully described it.

===============

In fact, Marco Pollo had dictated his story to "a professional writer of romances", who embellished somewhat his account, although "the idea probably was to create a handbook for merchants, essentially a text on weights, measures and distances"!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marco_Polo#Role_of_Rustichello

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marco_Polo#Travels_of_Marco_Polo