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 their neighbors, a colorful east of characters who quickly befriended the Newbys.
With his characteristic wry humor and sharp eye for the quirks of human nature, Eric Newby paints an unforgettable picture of rural Italy and its people. The rhythms and rituals of country life - harvesting grapes, making 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 restored.
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Eric Newby was born in London in 1919. In 1938, he joined the four-masted Finnish barque Moshulu as an apprentice and sailed in the last Grain Race from Australia to Europe, by way of Cape Horn. During World War II, he served in the Black Watch and the Special Boat Section. In 1942, he was captured and remained a prisoner-of-war until 1945. He subsequently married the girl who helped him to escape, and for the next fifty years, his wife Wanda was at his side on many adventures. After the war, he worked in the fashion business and book publishing but always travelled on a grand scale, sometimes as the Travel Editor for the Observer. He was made CBE in 1994 and was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award of the British Guild of Travel Writers in 2001. Eric Newby died in 2006.From AudioFile:
As usual, Andrew Sachs gives a stellar performance in narrating this account of renovating a dilapidated farmhouse on the border of Tuscany. He rolls out nonstop Italian phrases and descriptions of local festivals as if he'd been raised under an olive tree. But, alas, even the liveliest narration cannot transform 25 years in "I Castagni" with Eric Newby into one year in Provence with Peter Mayle. Although Newby is a highly respected travel writer, he lacks Mayle's flair for capturing colorful characters and lively dialogue. With such uninspired writing, few listeners may be tempted--even in imagination--to follow the rough road to "a small place in Italy." J.C. (c)AudioFile, Portland, Maine
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Book Description Lonely Planet. PAPERBACK. Book Condition: New. 0864426054 Ships promptly. Bookseller Inventory # Z0864426054ZN
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