- Also check our best rated Travel Book reviews
A Small Place in Italy Paperback – 6 Jan 2011
|New from||Used from|
- Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
- Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
- Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
- Dispatch to this address when you check out
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
'Newby is of course a travel writer of near genius - wonderfully dry in the narration of the tribulations which so often afflict him and Wanda, and splendidly precise on the nuts and bolts of things … Highly readable and dangerously liable to induce a craving for one's own patch of Italian paradise' Martin Gayford, Sunday Telegraph
'Newby is an incomparable, shrewd and witty travel writer … immensely enjoyable' John Mortimer, Mail on Sunday
'Eric Newby must rank as one of the foremost travel writers of our age. Among his skills lies the ability to carry the reader with him on the most varied of journeys … a sequel to his 1971 classic, ‘Love and War in the Apennines’… [Newby's] good humour, and his loving eye for a way of life now disappearing, makes it a sterling contribution to that very particular shelf of English literature, describing life as lived among the Italians' Hugh Carless, Guardian
'A jovial account of living in Tuscany' Literary Review
'[Newby's] book is cheerful, informative and often very funny' Times Literary Supplement
'There is a deep respect for human personality here, and a wealth of information scrupulously and precisely retailed' Daily Telegraph
'Beautifully written. Full of wisdom, humour and humanity, Newby is touching on the poignancy of life, its fleeting pleasures and ultimate, inevitable loss … He is a perceptive interpreter of our dreams' Sunday Express
'Newby goes into satisfying detail about the people, the food and the landscape, and the house itself takes a central role in the book … by observing the details of his surroundings with clarity and understanding, he gives the reader a gentle picture of a pleasant Arcadia' Wanderlust
From the Back Cover
The distinguished travel writer Eric Newby became acquainted with the landscape and the people of northern Italy when on the run from a prison camp in 1943. He and his wife dreamed of buying a house in the region, but it was not until 1967 that the opportunity to fulfil their dream presented itself. 'A Small Place In Italy' is an engaging account of the joys and frustrations of the purchase and renovation of a farmhouse, 'I Castagni' ('The Chestnuts'), and of how the Newby's gradually became part of the local community and its distinctive way of life.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title. See all Product description
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Top customer reviews
Eric Newby, especially in "A Small Place in Italy", meets these requirements admirably. Indeed, he ranks for me as a travel writer of near genius. He was almost 50 years old when he and his Italian born wife Wanda took up permanent residence in a ruined farmhouse in northern Italy. His account of the trials and tribulations that followed, the neighbours and the locality, is told in this wonderfully witty, readable and valuable book. Part of the value rests in the sociological and historical dimensions it gives. Even while he lived there, the customs, the occupations and the life styles were fast disappearing.
If you enjoy this genre, you'll want to give "A Small Place in Italy" a prominent place on your bookshelf.
A very well written, and very readable book - very enjoyable and one which I shall follow up by looking for more of the author's works. Well worth reading.
So this book combines a narrative of his initial restoration work with a memorandum of his family's adjustment to their new home.
There's a share of description of the restoration tasks, the management of local tradesmen, eavesdropping on the dirty chit-chat of the locals and the revival of the old vineyard near the farmhouse.
He digresses to give an interesting account of his walk across the Crinale (the main ridge of the Apennines) between Rigoso and Pontrèmoli with two mountain guards.
Also mentions local architecture - vernacular as well as formal - and trips to nearby sights.
If you are into this sort of thing and, moreover, enjoy the many minutely detailed merende, pranzi and cene - all washed down with fulsome Lambrusco - then this is what you could add to your bedside collection.
I should first say that I loved Newby's 'Short walk in te Hindu Kush' and especially 'Love and war in the Apennines'. So I was a bit disappointed in this book - it reads like any summer-holiday-in-exotic-landscape memoir: full of crochety neighbours and interspersed with a lot of Italian words ("we thought the *merenda* was the *prenzo*..."). It also reads like diary extracts cobbled together many years after the fact; and a pretty personal diary at that, with much not really of interest to anyone not in his family.
And yet, and yet... some of the personalities Newby describes reverberate in your mind long after you've stopped reading, and his style brings it all warmly alive. So while it is by no means as good as his best books, I still give it 3.5 stars.
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Most recent customer reviews
Look for similar items by category