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Living in Italy: the Real Deal: How to…

Living in Italy: the Real Deal: How to Survive the Good Life

by Stef Smulders

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I think if you were thinking of visiting or moving to Italy, then this book is a must to read. This story gives the more personal side of living in Italy ..... the nitty gritty bits of life in Italy. I found the school sections quite boring though and didn't think they should be in there anyway. The main story was the B & B and I think that should have been the main focus. The chapters themselves were short, which kept the interest. All in all a good story. ( )
  somethingblanc | Mar 4, 2017 |
Really enjoyed this story. I have to say that I am jealous of Stef & Nico. They did something that I would have loved to have done. Buy a house & move to Italy. Being of Italian descent myself and having relatives still living in Italy. I did get to travel to Italy and visit with my Uncle, Aunt and many cousins back in 1999. Always wanted to revisit but it never happened. My dad came to the U.S. by himself when he was 24 yrs old back in 1923.
I can appreciate what Stef & Nico went through in trying to get the house they bought renovated and dealing with Torti the contractor and the frustration of dealing with the Italians. Reading this book reminds me of the books that Frances Mayes wrote about buying a house in Italy and getting it renovated. I went online to "www.duepadroni.it" and explored their website with wonderful photos about the B & B that they operate. If I were to go back to Italy I would definitely make reservations at this really neat location. Sound like a lovely experience.
Having lunch At Nando & Leda's restaurant Bagarellum would be a real treat and to be able to take a cooking class with Leda would be priceless.
If you're interested in Italy this is a must read.
Thanks Stef for a wonderful book to read. ( )
  LarryMicheli | Jan 24, 2017 |
Italy, new beginnings, humor, nonfiction

Culture shock plus bureaucracy makes for some really great stories,and I think that Emese Mayhew did a fantastic job of translating from the original book written from personal notes by the Dutch author. The publisher's blurb gives clues but can't begin to prepare you for all of the insanity of totally changing countries and lifestyles told with an irrepressible sense of humor. I really didn't want to put it down, but life is what it is. So grab a copy and laugh yourself silly!
I am so glad that I entered and won the LibraryThing Giveaway! ( )
  jetangen4571 | Jan 20, 2017 |
The author has written a very humorous account of he and his partner's purchase of a property in Italy, and the development of it into a bed and breakfast. I laughed out loud several times while reading it, and marveled at the patience they had dealing with the Italian bureaucracy, neighbors, and especially their crazy contractor.
This is not your typical "dreamer/lost soul/jilted lover buys a rundown house in the Italian/French/etc countryside" and it's usual accompanying finding romance/true purpose in life story. It's much better. Instead, Smulder's describes in detail the steps and pitfalls in the process. And makes it interesting. Especially the aforementioned crazy contractor, holy smokes!
I have to admit, I had a vested interest in this book. My wife and I, thanks to being "adopted" by our Italian exchange student and her family, have strongly considered buying our own home in Italy. While we are still strongly considering it, this book has shown us some of what we might expect. It will not be as easy and painless as we thought, or as simple as buying a vacation home here in the U.S. Maybe just an extended vacation there this year, and maybe we can sneak down to the author's B & B on a side visit.
One more vested interest. The author is from the Netherlands. Our next exchange student, arriving this August, is also from the Netherlands. The author's writing from a Dutch perspective gave me a look into the Dutch mindset/culture. Several times in the book, he described things (mechanical, etc) using descriptors that did not register with my American mind. I had to research a bit to find out what he was talking about. While it was somewhat confusing, it has helped prepare me better for seeing things from my new student's perspective.
All in all, this is a very enjoyable book. I can highly recommend it to anyone with a travel bug, or anyone who wishes to experience a different culture written by someone from another different culture. It was fun!
I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  1Randal | Jan 16, 2017 |
I just couldn't get into this story. It was a bit dry. ( )
  IPagen | Jan 9, 2017 |
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