a fine Italian hand

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a fine Italian hand

1. The refined style of penmanship that replaced Gothic script in parts of Europe starting in the 17th century. I can't understand any of the old Gothic texts we're archiving. Thank goodness for the ones written in a fine Italian hand that I can actually read!
2. By extension, a skill in a distinct field. Jenna's brushstrokes are so beautiful, you wouldn't mistake her work for anyone else's. She should major in art because she truly has a fine Italian hand in that area. Alex may think he has a fine Italian hand as a spy, but I knew he planted the note because it smelled of his cologne!
See also: fine, hand
References in classic literature ?
Virtue against fury shall advance the fight, And it i' th' combat soon shall put to flight: For the old Roman valour is not dead, Nor in th' Italians' brests extinguished.
I enjoyed them, however, and I enjoyed them the more, as the innumerable perspectives of Italian history began to open all about me.
I did not see him after he ceased to read Dante with me, and in fact I was instructed by the suspicions of my Italian friends to be careful how I consorted with a priest, who might very well be an Austrian spy.
My faith was implicit in my mother's exposition of the Italian character.
He called Dominick, a young moustached Italian, to see the sight.
This was through the introduction by Sir Thomas Wyatt of the Italian fashion of lyric poetry.
Before the conclusion of the Italian's performance, a couple of men happened to be passing, On their way to dinner.
"You have opened my eyes," said the Italian gravely; "I will show the gentlemen the door." Monte Cristo resumed the perusal of the letter: --
We arrived at a tumble-down old rookery called the Palazzo Simonetti--a massive hewn-stone affair occupied by a family of ragged Italians. A good-looking young girl conducted us to a window on the second floor which looked out on a court walled on three sides by tall buildings.
An English-speaking Italian spoke up, now, and said:
"In that case," remarked Muscari, "I confess I prefer the Italian of the past."
He was an old Italian, a rival of the Raphaels and the Caracci, but an unfortunate rival.
Casting a glance upon his wife and daughter, he drew a dagger from his breast and gave it to his companion, saying in Italian:--
Two Italians by the Loggia had been bickering about a debt.
Charley came forward to board the prize, but when I proceeded to haul alongside by means of the line, the Italians cast it off.