BOOK DOWNLOAD A Small Place in Italy Author Eric Newby – thetributepages.co.uk
A funny et sad memoir set in Italy WW11 veteran returning with his wife two purchase a home While navigating local customs they create a rich life #with good friends from my blog who wouldn #good friends FROM MY BLOG Who wouldn love to have a second home in Europe Italy or perhaps France Back in 2017 I discussed Peter Mayle s book A Year in Provence about his adventures among his French neighbors This past week I read Eric Newby s 1994 memoir A Small Place in Italy I actually chose Newby s book a British paperback edition obtained from a second hand bookstore through simply because I wanted to read something else by Newby In the past I ve discussed his famous books The Last Grain Race and A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush as well as last month his collection of essays A Traveller s LifeWhile not the best of Newby s writing A Small Place in Italy as it turned out had a special interest for me The house he and his wife ended up buying in the mid 1960s named I Castagni was near Sarzana in the hills about five miles behind Lerici on the Ligurian coast Lerici is just five miles south of La Spezia and La Spezia is the southern entrance to the Cinue Terre As some will recall before the pandemic I had planned a birthday celebration next month with 30 guests for Levanto at the north end of the Cinue Terre Lerici is also where the English poet Shelley drowned although that s not relevant to Newby s storyReading the book was the next best thing to actually visiting the area although as the book makes clear the area changed radically between 1967 and 1991 when the Newbys sold their house and moved awayReaders of A Traveller s Life will recall that Newby temporarily escaped from a prisoner of war camp in Italy during World War II and wandered about the Apuan Alps holing up in a cave during one winter with assistance from local sympathizers The nearness to that area between Lerici and Parma was one factor in his decision to purchase property where he did He hoped to and did look up people who had become good friends and allies during the warFor those of us who are physically lazy the book is somewhat exhausting to read As with Mayle s story of Provence and other books by English writers describing life in southern Europe the Newbys made close friends friends of peasant stock who were largely friendly good *HUD AND CLOSE TO THE LAND *and close to the land the book describes in detail for me excessive detail the hard physical labor reuired to restore the house from virtual ruin to an inhabitable residence and their work harvesting grapes and olives on their own property and reciprocally for their neighbors All accomplished Please Dont Tickle The Tiger year afterear during time he managed to take away from his job in London as the travel editor for a London newspaperYou may learn about grapes and olives not to mention mushrooms than MTIV you hoped to knowAsou would guess from reading Newby s better known works he and his ethnically Slovenian but Italian reared wife Wanda are. In 1967 Eric and Wanda Newby fulfilled a long cherished dream when they bought a run down farmhouse in northern Tuscany in the foothills of the Italian Alps They were the first foreigners to live in the region A Small Place in Italy describes how the house was restored with the help of the. T may sound I feel like I know the Newbys
at this point and whether evading fascist death suads being dragged around soviet wire factories or helping with the grape this point and whether evading fascist death suads being dragged around soviet wire factories or helping with the grape they are always pleasant company Enthralling very entertaining the story of a lifestyle that has bit the dust Eric and his wife bought a small place in Tuscany Several times a ear they come over from England to live there Doing so they immerse themselves in *the community helped by the fact that his wife speaks fluent *community helped by the fact that his wife speaks fluent and he had been escaping from the Germans in that area in World War 2 The descriptions of the farmers and their lives reminds me of many stories I heard about relatives Very amusing You can tell he has a real love for the place I read this book for the 2nd time and this time it made sense to me since I have lived in Italy for 6 ears already 35 starsA really lovely homage to the life that Eric Newby and his wife Wanda built for themselves in the Italian mountains I read his memoir Love and War in the Apennines two Laurus years ago which was absolutely incredible It s stayed in my mind all this time so it was wonderful to read about these two at peace and happy in the decades the followed the war in which they met The only reason it falls just short of four stars is the length of some of the less interesting scenes that had me skim reading But I m so glad I finally read it Eric Newby is a fantastic witty writer whose choice of words and depictions of the Italian characters often makes me laugh It s been done too many times let s buy an old house in ItalyFranceGreeceSpain and see what happens but never as well as here A refreshing contrast to Frances Mayes The book starts off pretty slowly the first 100 pages really are about buying and renovating the house The story picks up in the second half with interesting stories about their neighbors The book could have used editing There are some really convoluted sentences and the structure could have been better Interesting account of settling a second home in an area on the edge of LiguriaTuscany inland from the sea on the side of a mountain This in the mid 1960 s by the author and his wife He was a POW and 2 to 3ear long fugitive in the area during the last Silk and Steel years of the European theatre WWII He s English They keep the home for 20ears and restore some of the ruin during that period It s good with lots of physical detail and nuance of Italian rural life in that district but it is written uite dry for my taste As old as this tale is it must be dated but it truly does not seem so Changing building method and material access to craft men who know the uses of prior structures with skill of original purposes like the ovensin order to fix or re purpose Well it is difficult nearly everywhere and in far easier locations then within Italy coupled with only vertical access for possible delivery Beautiful beautiful area is detailed I was there uite. G wine hunting for wild mushrooms are lovingly evoked along with the storybook landscapes and changing seasons At the center of his memoir is the farmhouse itself which from unpromising beginnings tileless roof long abandoned septic tank and mice the size of small cats was gradually restor.