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“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
What happens when you decide to make a dream come true?
Newly retired and looking for more than a vacation, John and Nancy Petralia intrepidly pack up a few suitcases and head to the “perfect” Italian city for a year.
Within days their dream becomes a nightmare. After residing in two Italian cities, negotiating the roads and health care, discovering art, friends, food and customs, the Petralias learn more than they anticipated–about Italy, themselves, what it means to be American, and what’s important in life.
Part memoir, part commentary, quirky and sincere, Not in a Tuscan Villa is about having the courage to step out of your comfort zone and do something challenging in later life. The adventure recaptures the Petralias’ youth, rekindles their romance–and changes their lives forever.
“If you can’t go in Italy, you’ll be glad the Petralias did.” Michele Fabrizio, former American ex-pat
“And they are amazingly open-minded, so open-minded that they come to reverse their thinking on two of the most emotive subjects in the U.S. today: President Obama, and a national healthcare system!…These authors are not afraid of the risk. They proceed over the course of the rest of the book to describe their encounters with Italians and with aspects of Italian society that made them question their firmly held views…Their 3D vision is not just focused on Italy, but it 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 chapters, together with the sections that conveyed the husband’s experience growing up as a hyphenated Italian.” Italophile Book Reviews
“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
“This book was no Under The Tuscan Sun, that’s for sure! But then it did not claim to be. 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 are on the other side of 50 and their adventure while romantic in the planning and imagining, is not all gondolas and sunsets. But there is that too. And with the reality of daily life in a foreign country, where only one of you speaks the language, albiet roughly and things like medical care and creature comforts we take for granted in America are missing, I was delighted and riveted. 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. Thanks for a truthful and magical story of love and passion for life in Italy. I look forward to reading about your next adventure.” Nancy E Lagrenne, author Cheap Fish
“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. 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