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Old Calabria (Marlboro Travel) Paperback – December 9, 1996
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“If there is a better book of travel in English, I do not know it.” —R. M. Dawkins, University of Oxford
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Top Customer Reviews
Norman Douglas's knowledge and grasp of Southern Italy is unsurpassed. I also highly recommend "Siren Land." Add to these Goethe's "Italian Journey" and you will have gained the kind of insight that no contemporary, olive-tree hugging, marketing-conscious author can ever provide.
I myself am half-Calabrese, half-English, and feel this dilemma in my own outlook. Even as I identify with the bearded modern scoundrels gesticulating and haunting the ruins of Calabrian history, I know they are just scoundrels compared to the men of the Hohenstaufen court; they live, they have names, they have stories, but they didn't concern Douglas, and history is built on larger blocks.
On the other hand, while Douglas kept his englishness about him with respect to the unlovely aspects of Calabrese culture of the day, he certainly makes up for it in his wealth of knowledge about, and depth of passion for, the region. He will pause and describe the window of his hotel for you, the evening outside; and maybe what the people below are gossiping about. If a boat happens to pass in the harbor, he will tell you of its origins and any relevant episode in Calabrian history involving such vessels, straight back to the Greeks. Or he will spend a page wondering why a certain town was planned this way and not that, and connect it on the next page to the general character of the town and its inhabitants. What more can you ask for from an historical travelogue?
Not only this, but he writes in some of the finest English prose you'll ever have the pleasure to read.Read more ›
It is also a good history lesson in a wonderful format.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
In the introduction one reads: "a province still devoid of modern amenities'" which is nothing but hogwash. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Michael Caputo
travel back in time, passages unknown and to re-explore once again, history and traditions mixed together, excellently written in its timePublished on February 28, 2014 by maria cristina
read too much like a history book and lacked enough of a personal touch. Found it very dull to readPublished on September 27, 2013 by Paul R. Talbot
It probably went into more detail than I wanted. I found it dry compared to "South Wind", which I greatly enjoyed.Published on September 7, 2013 by Robert O. Woods
'Old Calabria' is a travelogue reporting a British aristocrat's journey to Southern Italy and Calabria at the turn of the 20th century. Read morePublished on May 28, 2009 by Pino Laricio