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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Makes you want to pack up and move!
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...
Published on August 1, 2012 by Brrr Bunny (SEP)

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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as informative as I expected.
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...
Published on April 15, 2012 by greenfarmer


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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as informative as I expected., April 15, 2012
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This review is from: A Year in the Village of Eternity: The Lifestyle of Longevity in Campodimele, Italy (Hardcover)
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Makes you want to pack up and move!, August 1, 2012
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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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Campodimele! Don't blink or you might miss it!, April 18, 2014
This review is from: A Year in the Village of Eternity: The Lifestyle of Longevity in Campodimele, Italy (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. Another factor is the soil, within the soil in that small town there is something very unique to do with the moisture content that makes all of the vegetables and foods extremely fresh and flavorful. There is no GMO's, no preservatives and no pesticides used at all! THIS IS HUGE!!! That being said, the nutrition stays in the food that they grow and no foods are prepared. Even what we would consider organic here in North America is nowhere near the same in regards to all natural etc. I remember the olives when picked were twice the size as you can find in any supermarket and you can smell them from a block away. I say that about all the food I saw there, a tomato ACTUALLY smells like a tomato, basil smells incredible etc. They eat A LOT of fish as well which is high in Omegas that is very good for your brain and helps with old age, alzheimer's etc. You can speak to someone in their 90's in this town and they have their wits about them the same as someone would outside that town in their 60's.The town is not dependent on any external sources in terms of food they eat, they don't have a large supermarket to buy food so they essentially grow their own food on their land. They do go to Formia and Gaeta which are larger neighboring cities to buy some fresh fish, perhaps some bread etc.

The weather is generally very hot, living in a warm climate with sunshine means lots of vitamin D and also has other positive health effects. The air is clean, there is not a lot if any automobile pollution because of where the town is situated between the mountains, there is no carbon monoxide. I remember driving to this town and there was nobody on the road, there is no major road or highway running through this town whatsoever. There is a lot of other little towns throughout Italy and elsewhere in Europe that are very similar. Campodimele is an easy town to look at as an example because of their small population of about 671 people. There were lots of towns in Italy very similar to Campodimele and many have their own unique way of cooking, living etc. I would say this is a pretty decent book worth a read but it is a bit dry so give it a go and see what you think....
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Living with Vitaliy in Italy!!, January 22, 2012
By 
P. Edie (Playa del Rey, CA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: A Year in the Village of Eternity: The Lifestyle of Longevity in Campodimele, Italy (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
4.0 out of 5 stars A little repetitive, February 8, 2012
This review is from: A Year in the Village of Eternity: The Lifestyle of Longevity in Campodimele, Italy (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
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful read, February 5, 2012
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N. Bartol (Revere, MA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: A Year in the Village of Eternity: The Lifestyle of Longevity in Campodimele, Italy (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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Year in the Village of Eternity., November 29, 2012
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This review is from: A Year in the Village of Eternity: The Lifestyle of Longevity in Campodimele, Italy (Hardcover)
I had no idea what I was in for with this book. I bought it simply because it was about my favorite country to visit, Italy. And then I discovered Tracy Lawson's wonderful, loving, and insightful writing style wraped around many wonderful recipies. This is a must read for anyone who loves food and loves Italy.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars year in the village of eternity, April 17, 2012
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This review is from: A Year in the Village of Eternity: The Lifestyle of Longevity in Campodimele, Italy (Hardcover)
This book came as quite a nice surprise ~ i was expecting 'only recipes' but what I am finding is an actual accounting of the day-to-day life. i would recommend this to anyone who wants to make a change for the positive in their lives and do something about it, not just think about it.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can I live here?, August 7, 2012
By 
booknblueslady (Woodland, CA United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Year in the Village of Eternity: The Lifestyle of Longevity in Campodimele, Italy (Hardcover)
Tracey Lawson takes on a year long food preparation and dining tour of an ancient walled city in Italy, named Campodimele. Sauces, breads, pizzas, pastas and sausages are shared in abundance. We find the smallest of occasions to gather round and have a community feast. The wood cutters are done cutting and loading wood on their ponies for the season, so lets gather up on the hill and have a community picnic! Tracey adds to this wonderful moment by adding pictures of the horses to the book.

Campodimele is one of those places in which people live to ripe old age and have low cholesterol with few health problems, so I had expected that this might be one of those texts which examine their lives in miniscule and try to determine how we might apply these to our lives. Tracey instead invites us to share the experience with each small section dealing with a seasonal item and accompanying recipes.

We do get good advice while tagging around Campodimele with Tracey, we learn to use what we can find scavenging for bitter greens, cherries and mushrooms on the hills around Campodimele, we learn to use what we have and that the cucina povera or kitchen of poverty can produce delicious results, we learn to take the time to make the food from scratch rather than buying processed foods, and we learn the importance of the orto or kitchen garden.

I want to share Tracey's excursion to make gnocchi and see if you don't love the experience:

"What does surprise me, when I take up this invitation one chilly afternoon, is the breathtaking force with which she pummels the gnocchi paste and the swiftness with which they are made. Not because I've always understood gnocchi -making to require the gentlest of hands and a lot of time. But because I can't imagine where she gets such strength to knead the gnocchi dough, and such speed in serving them up.

Marietta is eighty-nine and lives alone in her centuries-old stone house on one of the winding cobbled streets that follow the curve of Campodimele's medieval walls. Her kitchen is tiny -- the size of a large cupboard-- but perfectly arranged an stocked so that she has everything on hand when I drop by to discuss when we might make the said gnocchi. `Ora!' she insists, unfazed by the notion of improvising a cookery class on the spur of the moment. "Now!" She is already spooning coffee into the aluminum Moka pot and placing it on the stove: hospitality is, it seems the first duty of every Italian."
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A year in the village of eternity, January 8, 2012
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This review is from: A Year in the Village of Eternity: The Lifestyle of Longevity in Campodimele, Italy (Hardcover)
The author has condensed 3 years of living in Campodimele into one year. You experience the seasonal food process - what is available when and what is done with it. There are recipes and the only downside would be that occasionally certain products can not be easily found in the US. But there are plenty of recipes to work with and having a flavor of what really happens adds to the understanding of Italian cooking and living.
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A Year in the Village of Eternity: The Lifestyle of Longevity in Campodimele, Italy
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