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Not in a Tuscan Villa: During a year in Italy, a New Jersey couple discovers the true Dolce Vita when they trade rose-colored glasses for 3Ds Paperback – August 28, 2013


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Not in a Tuscan Villa: During a year in Italy, a New Jersey couple discovers the true Dolce Vita when they trade rose-colored glasses for 3Ds + At Least You're in Tuscany + Somewhere South of Tuscany: 5 Years In a Four-Cat Town
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 289 pages
  • Publisher: Chartiers Creek Press (August 28, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0615762530
  • ISBN-13: 978-0615762531
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (114 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #111,746 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"This reporter, during the course of a more-than-two-decade-long journalistic career, has reviewed dozens of books. Not in a Tuscan Villa may have been the best."  - Rick Mellerup, The Sandpaper
 
"Their 3D vision is not just focused on Italy but turns toward the U.S. and to the history of Italian-Americans, and to America's historical relationship with Italy. I found those chapters of the book to be some of the most interesting, together with the sections that conveyed the husband's experience growing up as a hyphenated Italian."  - Italiophile Book Reviews


If you enjoy Italy, or just want to know what it's like to decide to live a year abroad, you'll enjoy this book. And yes, given it's title, it's nothing like all those folks coming to Tuscany and Umbria from Britain or the US, redoing wonderful villas, complete with funny workman. No this is "real" life in Italy, where you stand on line for hours, only to find you're in the wrong line, and maybe the wrong building. Where you have medical emergencies, your pocket picked, etc. But in the end the charm of Italy seduces the authors, as it has so many others. - Doug Ritter, author La Dolce Vita.


Not in a Tuscan Villa took me to Italy without even boarding a plane! John and Nancy Petralia have a crisp, engaging writing style that pulls the reader into the memoir right away. I felt I was there with them as they spent their year in Italy. I could taste the food, drink the wine and view all the behind the scenes sights of a country that is truly fascinating. I highly recommend this book to everyone who has ever dreamed of doing anything that seems unattainable. What a grand adventure this couple is sharing with readers! It's a don't miss book for all.  - Margaret Hawke, author, Bellehaven

This is a delightful book for many reasons. First, it is well written, every page immersing the reader deep into the experience of two people who had the courage to...do something totally different from their previous experience. There is an exciting sense of adventure, a willingness and sense of humor to accept that everything will not be as you planned, and the ability to change focus (and houses) when reality proves to be below expectations.  Lewis Weinstein, author, The Heretic and The Pope's Conspiracy

This is not a fairytale. Or a movie (but it could be). This is a beautiful real life story of a couple who bravely go to Italy for a year to live. And they are not twenty-somethings. They're on the other side of 50 and their adventure while romantic in planning and imagining, is not all gondolas and sunsets. But there is that too...The Petralia's are a loving couple devoted to one another and that love comes across on every page. I was right there, tasting the food, drinking the wine, walking the cobblestone streets, meeting their new friends, with them.  Nanci E. Lagarenne, author Cheap Fish

About the Author

John and Nancy Petralia are a retired couple still looking for adventures. They recently moved to Fort Myers, Florida, a city they hope to love as much as Parma.

They blog about Italy and books at NotInATuscanVilla.com. Visit the book's Facebook page.  facebook.com/NotInATuscanVilla.

Customer Reviews

Made me feel like I was living in Italy.
peggy
I loved the humor and the writing style, and I appreciated how they sprinkled Italian words and phrases throughout the book - it gave the book more of an Italian feel.
Maiu
I read this book shortly after returning from a month in Italy, and couldn't put it down!
Bridget Mayak

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Ken Wing on September 22, 2013
Format: Paperback
This is a book about what happens when two people not only dare to dream, but dare to make their dreams come true--to become the authors of their own life story. It's a book about life. It's about the friend on the other side of that stranger. It's about life lived outdoors on foot or bicycle, at an outdoor café and in the public square. It's about life lived with eyes and ears open to experience. It's about life invigorated by learning about self and other. And it's about life enriched by generosity. Whether your dream includes Italy, or whether you haven't let yourself dream at all, this book is an invitation for you, too, to become the author of your own life story.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Douglas Ritter on September 21, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Having grown up as an American in Rome I consider Italy my adopted country and Rome my home, so what a delight to read another American couple's adventures for the year they spent in Italy. One could use this book as a guidebook to living and traveling there, and the author's account of visiting the US cemetery in Nettuno brought tears to my eyes. If you enjoy Italy, or just want to know what it's like to decide to live a year abroad, you will enjoy this book. And yes, given it's title, it's nothing like all those folks coming to Tuscany and Umbria from Britain or the US and redoing wonderful villas, complete with funny workman. No this is "real" life in Italy, where you stand on line for hours, only to find out you are in the wrong line, and possibly the wrong building. Where you have medical emergencies, your pocket picked, etc. But in the end the charm of Italy seduces the authors, just as it has for so many others. Enjoy!
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Susan Morrison on September 7, 2013
Format: Paperback
Have you ever wondered how it would be to live in another country for a year? This couple did it! They moved from NJ to Italy. Their one year adventure is definitely not your typical air-brushed idyll complete with travel book highlights and Italian stereotypes. No, this one is different. For example, after observing that Italians are generally slimmer than Americans, they attribute it to two things. First, Italians, who are car crazy, can't drive in their busy cities, so they have to walk. Second, Italian TV is so bad, that it drives people outside. In Italy, walking, especially the evening walk, called the passagio, has been raised to an art form. What better way to keep your weight in check than the desire to look better than your neighbor? In Italy, aesthetics are very important. In Italy, they bury utility wires; dinners are savored not devoured; coffee is made in a machine that cost thousands of dollars. It's a different world. In Italy, President Obama is more popular than he is in America. Why? Read the book. You'll love it.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Ted Garrison. on September 6, 2013
Format: Paperback
I've always wanted to live in Italy. I went there a few years ago and visited Rome and the Amalfi coast. But I never got further north. I enjoyed this book for what I learned about northern Italy and all the places that most folks never visit. The story of the palio in Ferrara was one of my favorites. Also the one about their visit to the American cemetery in Anzio was very touching. I wish I'd had time to explore Pompeii and Herculaneum like they did! The stories about the people they met, and how they met them were fascinating. It really made me feel like I knew these people too.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Susan Vitale on September 14, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There are many books written about personal experiences of traveling in a foreign country. For John and Nancy, this was their dream come true! They could learn Italian language skills while staying in Italy for a whole year! A journey that immediately immerses us in the exhaustible plenty of the culture and the equally bountiful intelligence and sensibilities of the authors.
We are fed a fascinating mixture of history, politics, art, architecture, folklore, anecdotes with people that they meet,studded with personal reflections, and also some harrowing experiences. John is a first generation Italian American whose parents came from Sicily, and who lived in South Philadelphia. The reader will enjoy his story telling about his early life growing up there (with much humor). Nancy is the historian and serious art lover. The reader will share their feelings, and discover along with them, how this experience changed how they feel about many aspects of their own life, including how they wish to live their lives in the future.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Aloysius on September 8, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
John and Nancy are apparently not hothouse flowers. From their brainy, down to earth descriptions of Pompeii,and other places, about which I knew very little before reading this fine and descriptive book, to their unerring, practical, and comfortable comments on the differences between the US and other places in the world, particularly Northern Italy . The song Yes We got no Bannanas kept playing in my mind during the whole book reflecting the differences between what we perceive with our US blinders, and how things really are, everyhere. Like sharing spaghetti, not pasta, with Paul Theroux in The Great Railway Bazaar.
A great enjoyable and enlightening read. Kudos to South Philly and two different intelligent points of view on just about everything they did and saw.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Healey on September 13, 2013
Format: Paperback
John and Nancy Petralia's Not In A Tuscan Villa goes beyond the scope of those travel books about seeing the sights of Italy and explores the experience of living there as an American Ex-Patriot. While there is no shortage of sights in their memoire, it is the very flavor of the place and its people that shines through. John and Nancy take the reader into the experience of adjusting to culture that is both familiar and foreign.
There are any number of books that can tell you about the beauty that is Italy, but not many that can me you feel so much a part of the trip.
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Not in a Tuscan Villa: During a year in Italy, a New Jersey couple discovers the true Dolce Vita when they trade rose-colored glasses for 3Ds
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