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Head over Heel: Seduced by Southern Italy Paperback – 7 May 2009
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An intriguing book, very well written, well structured, entertaining and sometimes even challenging... a delightful and often humorous account of the author's evolving relationship with Italy as he comes to grips with everyday reality there... anecdotes provide both humour and vivid images of Italians and Italian life. (Judges of the Grollo Ruzzene Foundation Prize)
Dramatic, sensual and affectionately amusing, Head Over Heel is as good as a holiday. (John Bell, The Bell Shakespeare Company)
Harrison manages to get right under Italy's skin without stereotyping the people he meets and situations he finds himself in... Many have written books about their experiences living in foreign climes but few have done it as entertainingly, beautifully and - surprisingly - romantically as Harrison does here. (Sydney Morning Herald & Melbourne Age)
This is a funny and touching tale about the cultural divide with a sweet and passionate love story at its heart. For all those who have ever had a brief holiday in Italy and said, £You know, I could really live here,' read this and know that it may not be that easy. And for those who know Italy intimately and love her all the same, enjoy Head Over Heel and its taste of la dolce vital (The Courier Mail)
Head over heels on the heel of the boot of Italy. Among olive groves and cobblestone lanes, Chris takes us on a journey into the heart of Southern Italy.See all Product description
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Top customer reviews
And that is why I have only given this book 4 stars ─ to a considerable extent it has made me fearful of what we may encounter. It's an excellent book but I wish I hadn't read it before we went; and I shall certainly not show it to my wife till afterwards!
No, ‘Head over Heel’ was something far more honest and really got to grips with what living in Italy is all about. Yes, it was a romance of sorts; our author became smitten with a beautiful Italian girl and somewhat impetuously decided to live with her and experience first-hand what falling in love really means. After all you need to take cultural and linguistic difference into account, for richer, for poorer etc. and that makes entertaining reading.
This book is a travel memoir with a difference. Harrison really communicates how different Southern Italy can be and anyone who has travelled there will know what he describes is spot on. He waxes lyrical about Italian food, the witty and idiosyncratic cast of characters which punctuate his tale and the frustratingly stubborn bureacracy throughout this fascinating country. Having organised cooking holidays in Italy for over 15 years now, I was more than open to embracing Harrison’s take on all things Italian. It makes a change to see something that isn’t centred in Tuscany too!
if you want to become immersed in the Italian love of cooking, family gatherings and the ebb and flow of the religious calendar you can do no better than settle down with a little snack, a glass of Italian wine and enjoy the ride. I highly recommend this exploration that delves beneath the thin tourist skin we think is Italy.
This is explained mainly by the fact that the author goes to Italy to follow a girl he hardly knows, so not only is he discovering a new country, he is also discovering a new partner. This adds much the the story, and makes it more interesting - as much for him, I suspect, as for us.
I cannot speak for the accuracy of his portrayal of southern Italy - there seems to be some disagreement amongst reviewers here - but it does make for a good read.