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In this deliciously seductive account of an Italian neighborhood with a statue of the Virgin at one end of the street, a derelict bottle factory at the other, and a wealth of exotic flora and fauna in between, acclaimed novelist Tim Parks celebrates ten years of living with his wife, Rita, in Verona, Italy. Via Colombre, the main street in a village just outside Verona, offers an exemplary hodgepodge of all that is new and old in the bel paese, a point of collision between invading suburbia and diehard peasant tradition in a sometimes madcap, sometimes romantic always mixed-up world of creeping vines, stuccoed walls, shotguns, security cameras, hypochondria, and expensive sports cars.
Tim Parks is anything but a gentleman in Verona. With an Italian-born wife, an Italian made family, and a whole Italian condominium bubbling around him, he collects a gallery full of splendid characters who initiate us into all the foibles and delights of life in provincial Italy.
More than a travel book, Italian Neighbors is a sparkling, witty, beautifully observed tale of how the most curious people and places gradually assume the familiarity of home. Italian Neighbors is a rare work that manages to be both a portrait and an invitation for everyone who has ever dreamed about Italy.