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Pan' E Pomodor - My Passage to Puglia Paperback – 31 Oct 2007


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Product details

  • Paperback: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Lulu Enterprises, UK Ltd (31 Oct. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1430325836
  • ISBN-13: 978-1430325833
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.8 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 287,758 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I am a Scot (raised in England) married to an Italian emigrant's daughter and have a home in the Gargano, Puglia. I love to write about my experiences here and I hope that you will enjoy reading them. I find time hard to come by as I am so busy looking after our olive groves ... but there will be a sequel to Pan' e Pomodor!

Enjoy!

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 2 Jun. 2008
Format: Paperback
Bread and Tomatoes...the good life...A story about two people who were either very ignorant or very brave.. buying a derelict house in Italy and using local labor to restore it, come on..if there ever was a recipe for disaster..This book unfolds a story just like that. Written in an entertaining witty way it will show you a part of Italy we normally do not meet or experience.
The book takes you on a fascinating, interesting and witty years long trip from England via France and Switzerland to Italy. The couple in question had their heart set on living in continental Europe in the sunshine belt . The north side of the Mediterranean to be precise. The books starts by making the reader part of their deliberations and search to find the ideal location. An insight in their holiday visits to the birthplace of the female half of the couple in Mid Italy sets the stage and background for finding their private rural spot in the sun..Although the goal was not Italy in the first place the journey leads us via France to Italy and the search for a local house. But before we get there a lot is explained about the local Italian culture and way of living. Things we normally never would know or guess.
The writer makes us part of that Italian culture without losing his English point of view.The actual buying of the house reveals facts about Italian house ownership and Italian inheritance problems .Not to forget the extraordinary Italian bureaucracy. It will keep you entertained throughout the process of searching for and acquiring of the house followed by the long rebuilding of the mansion and its surrounding lands. It shows keen awareness of the Italian work ethics but foremost tells about the Italian way of life in that particular area of Italy.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By The Welshman in Milano on 29 Jan. 2009
Format: Paperback
I'll start of by saying that I live in Italy with my Italian wife and have done for many years, so I have a great deal of empathy for the McEwan family. This book is most definitely one that anyone with even a vague wish to visit Italy should buy. It gives an excellent feel for life in Italy - not only from an ExPat standpoint, but also from an Italian coming home position. It is a wonderful book to read if you are going to live in Italy as well, full of extraordinarily helpful hints and historical snippets of a lifestyle that is rapidly vanishing. The story of the collection of bread for baking by the local baker was wonderful - and very informative as well. Excellent, real life reporting, with great detail, of the problems of getting an artesian well dug locally as well, justifying the book alone - although there are many other such pieces of information lying in the book (now we know how to harvest olives as well, thank you Ian!).

All in all, a good book. It is not a whinging pom "look how difficult life is" type of book, but a really enjoyable to read volume that also contains nuggets of invaluable information to help those that would be helped. Great book! Buy one!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 12 Jan. 2010
Format: Paperback
For some reason this text appears under the tag - "A Kid's Review" although it was actually written by me about a week ago. I don't know who the kid is and I have asked Amazon but had no answer.

I loved this story too, particularly because it's real. I have read a lot of other books about settling in Italy and this one somehow seems more real than most of the others. It is almost as good as Head over Heel by Chris Harrison. I too am married to an italian (although I am the female half of the couple) and they really are a completely different species, and mine is a city boy!

Along with one of the reviewers I was disappointed with the grammar - especially the apostrophes and I would agree that if you self publish you should get someone else to read the manuscript before publishing. There were some very funny spelling mistakes which made me laugh a lot, my favourite is...they laid bear the first tree - I didn't know there were bears in the Gargano. (My former mentor Dermot Elworthy (also a reviewer on Amazon) would have been very upset that an englishman doesn't know his own language.)

However, for entertainment, food for thought for anyone thinking of making this move, and sheer doggedness, this story takes some beating.

A suggestion for a follow-up would be to get M to do some of the story telling to hear her side of things too.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Mark - an Englishman in Italy on 18 Jan. 2008
Format: Paperback
Having abandoned their careers, their friends and their home in the UK, 'Pan' e Pomodor' is the no-nonsense and compelling story of a couple who decide to start out on a quest to find a new home and a new life.

After some amusing encounters and multiple disappointments to-ing and fro-ing between Switzerland and France, just when the search seemed all but doomed, Vico del Gargano beckons, like a forgotten old friend knocking on the door, out of the blue.

Far flung and way off their original brief, Vico, a small hilltop town in Northern Puglia, slowly starts to work its rugged charm; a charm unique to this community and to the abandoned wreck of a house they both fall in love with. A charm that helps the author deal with the more mind-boggling misadventures between gasps of country air, gulps of wine and hunks of wonderful, crusty bread dripping with the 'sugo' of fresh tomatoes and exquisite virgin olive oil.

This is not the Italy of travel journals or Tuscany chic.
Nor is it just the tale of a place in the sun.
This is an Italy almost unheard of...

Get a glass of wine, make yourself comfortable, and let Ian McEwan introduce to the characters and the challenges that he meets along the way.
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