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A Year in the Village of Eternity: The Lifestyle of Longevity in Campodimele, Italy Hardcover – August 16, 2011

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Magnificent…Passion for food oozes through Lawson's book. Her fresh, luscious prose stirs the senses. Most of all, the book makes you want to cook, and she has provided dozens of recipes to satiate that impulse. (Washington Post)

A lovely meditation on the foods, lives, recipes, and traditions of this area of Italy, this will appeal to travelers and foodies. (Library Journal)

Rich and engaging… Lawson's narrative follows the seasons in a country year, delineating the culinary routines of the typical Campodimele resident and cook… Lawson beautifully describes food at its simplest and finest--green fava beans, homemade ribbonlike pasta, zucchini and hot peppers, shallots, and baby goat. (Publishers Weekly)

About the Author

Tracey Lawson discovered the joys of Italy's cuisine and lifestyle while teaching English in Tuscany. She spent a decade as a journalist, writing and reporting for several British newspapers, and she edited the food and health pages for the Scotsman before relocating to Italy. Lawson now divides her time between Italy and Britain. A Year in the Village of Eternity is her first book.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA; First Edition edition (August 16, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1596915021
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596915022
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.4 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #721,817 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By greenfarmer on April 15, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A glowing review of this book in my local paper, as well as my passion for growing organic food, caused me to buy this book. Perhaps because I've already read a number of books on growing and using organic foods, I found this book rather disappointing. The recipes at the end of each chapter are often redundant, since much of each chapter is devoted to describing how those recipes are made. Also--though they may be authentic--some of the recipes were so basic and universal (i.e., the one for a plain lettuce salad dressed with vinegar, and oil), that I was stunned so many pages were devoted to them. I appreciated some of the information the author provided on everyday life in this Italian village, but too many details were absent. Little is said about the town's history, and even less is said about how the town's inhabitants afford the simple, healthful lives they lead. As a result, the book left me with lots of questions and few answers or insights.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By cam york on April 18, 2014
Format: Hardcover
OK, I'll mention that I have a good perspective on this town because my mother and family was born here. I took a vacation here in the summer of 2006, so I can tell you my perspective on this town and I will do it without an unbiased point of view since this is where my roots are. If you want to know the secret to why people in this small paese (town) live until such an old age it is a combination of a few things, many of which you will not read anywhere within this book. So lets begin discussing some of the things I observed when I was there visiting family and relatives. The first and probably most important element that is not mentioned in this book is STRESS. These people simply do not have stress, I don't think they even know the meaning of the word. They live an extremely simply life free of materialistic goods unlike that of most North Americans, myself included! Another interesting thing to note is that people in that town live within their means, they do not worry about things they do not have or want like most of us do.

Secondly, yes diet is extremely important, everything and I mean everything I ate while I was there is grown from someones garden or out on the land/ orchard etc. The other element that is not mentioned in this book is that they walk A LOT up and down this little mountain and its quite the hike because I have done it myself. The air at the top of the town is very crisp, there is a breeze that comes off of the Mediterranean ocean close to Gaeta that has a sea salt type freshness that you can feel on your skin. Its hard to explain but its got to have some form of positive effect on your skin, health, breathing etc.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By SingleEyePhotos on August 1, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
You should read this book for the description of the village of Campodimele and the people who live there, not for the recipes. The author evokes the beauty and austerity of the southern Italian countryside and its people very well. This is less a story of the author's research into the eating habits of the villagers of Campodimele and much more a description of friendly, generous people who consider simple food, well-prepared, and served with love, to be the epitome of the good life.

Although much is made of the longevity of the villagers, there's very little discussion of that aspect of their culture. This book primarily - almsot exclusively - focuses on the food and cooking traditions of the area. Recipes are given, but they're not always practical for the modern cook (who has time to make sausages and fire-dry them for 3-4 weeks?) and they're designed for the British cook in terms of measurements, terminology, etc. That's not to say that the American cook couldn't make many, if not most, of them, but some adjustment would be necessary.

Overall, this is a very respectful look at the village, the villagers, and their culture, and one which shows their best side. It's a very - for lack of better word - peaceful book; one that can best be enjoyed in a comfy chair with a cup of tea beside you and a rainy day outside. Recommended.

Note on Kindle formatting: Very good. The only issues I noticed were at the very end of the book where there's a section of photographs. They didn't seem to translate well to e-ink, and captions were frequently on the following page.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By P. Edie on January 22, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Wonderful memoir and cookbook. A year spent in the village of Campodimele, Italy...where the residents have been known for their long lives, staying healthy and active into their last years. Dividing the book into the 12 months of the year, the author recounts the seasonality of the foods available to the people and the ways they are prepared. The text is peppered with Italian sayings that give life to the reading. The recipes are very simple and basic. There are numerous colored photographs of the people who share their knowledge and their village with the author. A delight to read!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Suzanne Mariani on February 8, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I enjoyed this at first, but towards the middle it began to get repetitive. It does help me understand my Italian mother-in-law better though, and that is a major plus.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By N. Bartol on February 5, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This is a book that is one part cookbook and one part documentary. Together, it is one recipe for an engaging book that makes one want to purchase real estate in Italy. Ms. Lawson has a lovely gift of making you seem like you are in the village. In a time where we cannot do things fast enough, have things simple enough, it is a wonderful book that reminds you to slow down and enjoy good food, good people, and good times. Bravo!
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