I'm still thinking about Italy here... and Roland Barthes' amazing essay about the Blue Guide (tourist guide) in his collection "Mythologies", which you can read here:
For example, Barthes on Spain:
"The ethnic reality of Spain is thus reduced to a vast classical ballet, a nice neat commedia dell'arte, whose improbable typology serves to mask the real spectacle of conditions, classes and professions. For the Blue Guide, men exist as social entities only in trains, where they fill a 'very mixed' Third Class. Apart from that, they are a mere introduction, they constitute a charming and fanciful decor, meant to surround the essential part of the country: its collection of monuments."
What about the living Italian cliches chatting up Betty? Cliched because they are figments of the Americo-tourist imagination? In some ways, the Rome episode felt like some long extended dream sequence.
Mythologies was published in 1957 in French - one of the first texts to take the messages behind advertising culture seriously... a la semiotics.