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Italian Days

3.56 of 5 stars 3.56  ·  rating details  ·  135 ratings  ·  16 reviews
"Italian Days" is one of the richest and most absorbing travel books written--a journey that traverses the Italian peninsula and immerses readers in a culture which provides the reader with a definition of the good life.
Paperback, 512 pages
Published September 25th 1998 by Atlantic Monthly Press (first published 1989)
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Debbie Robson
Where to start on this wonderful book? It is so much more than a travel memoir. I love Grizzuti's prose, her manner of expressing herself. She doesn't just describe what she is seeing but the history behind the sculpture, the piazza, the place. Also what she is feeling.
She will give you a new slant on something famous and obviously being well read she will come up with a marvellous quote from Keats, James, Stendhal, even Iris Origo for instance; a writer I have now marked down to read.
From readi
Not overly impressed with this novel. It exists as a melting pot of part travelogue, part history book, part discussion of art and religion, and part receipe book. A very dense read (as an oversized paperback), it was a struggle to get through even ten pages at a time. While I loved the descriptions of different foods and meals, the author had an annoying habit of talking in tangents. For example, she would have three paragraphs on the architecture of some church then all of sudden a random sent ...more
Mar 06, 2008 Becky rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: nobody
This book came very highly recommended, and I have to admit, I was disappointed. I found it self-absorbed and opaque, inscrutable. Grizzuti Harrison's Italy sounds like a place I would never want to go -- indeed, nothing like the place I've been to -- full of peevish storekeepers, American-hating townspeople, predatory men. I found nothing to love about the Italy depicted in this book and couldn't imagine why the author would subject herself to further months spent there.

The writing is very stra
I love this book. Now, would I recommend it? Conditionally, yes. If a wonderful trip to Italy, for you, would be hitting the high spots in Rome and Venice (and how awesome is that?!), you may feel overwhelmed by Grizzuti Harrison's tome. It is very long, and it's very detailed. I'm guessing the reader visits 30+ churches with her in Rome, alone. The book is part travelogue and part "Roots" in Italy.

I found myself mesmerized by both (and I'm just going to call her Barbara and move forward with th
I wanted to love this book, but could not read past the first 40 pages. I felt as though I were reading in ADD. The author's thoughts are jumpy at best, incohesive and divergent. I actually agreed with most of her perceptions of Milan, but the writing style was simply frustrating. Thinking this might be something found only at the start of the book, I jumped to the Florence section and found the same difficulties.[return][return]It was also disconcerting that her translations of Italian were inc ...more
To truly connect with this one I think you need to be as much a fan of Barbara as of Italy. Which I SORT of am--which doesn't explain why I GAVE my copy to an acquaintance whose parents were about to travel abroad. I must've had some sort of agenda at the time; now the acquaintance is long gone from my life, and i just wish I had my book back. I WILL buy another copy...which in itself is a great review. It's not about pictures--it's about words. Cozily, caustically, comically, cleverly, WONDERFU ...more
I couldn't get into this one and even more so realized it's one for a slow read. Maybe in a cold winter I'll try it again.
Being a big devotee of Italy and its culture,I really thought this was going to be a fabulous book--I was extremely disappointed. The author was more interested in her own thoughts and religious beliefs to really do any justice to the Italian landscape.
Nostalgia influenced my loving this book, but the writing is great. A different, more personal and intimate approach to Italy. And the damn book kept making me tear up at the oddest moments!
Celia B
Still reading, but love the way the author captures the spirit and culture of Italy. So far, I have journeyed to Milan with her, and we are now in Venice.
The first part, particularly the first chapter, I loved. Toward the end her introspective analysis was beginning to weigh me down.
Maria Tatham
very, very interesting account of a journey from Northern Italy to the south. sterling prose.
I often reread this book when I am particularly yearning to go to Italy and can't.
Dianne Merridith
Dated. Not written in a very interesting style.
Feb 22, 2008 Dad rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone
Travel writing at it's best in my opinion-
Hank Stuever
A fantastic writer and thinker.
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Barbara Grizzuti Harrison (14 September 1934 – 24 April 2002) was an American journalist, essayist and memoirist. She is best known for her autobiographical work, particularly her account of growing up as one of Jehovah's Witnesses, and for her travel writing.

Her first book, Unlearning the Lie: Sexism in School, was published in 1969. Harrison was one of the first contributors to Ms. magazine.

More about Barbara Grizzuti Harrison...
An Accidental Autobiography Visions of Glory: A History and a Memory of Jehovah's Witnesses The Astonishing World Off Center: Essays Islands of Italy

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