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The Miracles of Santo Fico

3.83  ·  Rating Details  ·  876 Ratings  ·  197 Reviews
A magical story of love...and miracles After twenty years, Leo Pizzola has come back to the Tuscan village of Santo Fico, still single and still looking for a way to get rich. The town is as poor as it was when Leo left, yet some things have changed. Of Leo's childhood companions, only little Guido, whom everyone calls "Topo," embraces him. His best friend is long dead. Th ...more
Paperback, 368 pages
Published January 1st 2004 by Grand Central Publishing (first published 2003)
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Sandy T
Aug 19, 2008 Sandy T rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Sandy by: Stacy
I took this book with me when I left for the weekend, hearing it was a lighthearted quick read, and I wasn't disappointed!
I was first going to just give this 4 stars because I felt like it took awhile to set the story up... but then I thought that if a book could make me laugh out loud the way this did in a few places, it deserved 5 stars!
This is a heartwarming story set in a little mountain town in Italy. The author paints the Tuscan area and its people so vividly, you really can feel the st
Jan 31, 2015 Ape rated it it was ok
2007 bookcrossing journal:

Hey - I finally finished this book last night =) Strange considering it is light, easy reading (the kind of thing that would be good for a holiday) but I did find it really hard to get into. The second half definately picks up the pace when the miracles finally come into the story, and I did grow to like the characters, in particular I thought the whole storyline with Father Elio was good. I like to read books set in countries such as Spain, Italy and Greece, if only fo
Jul 02, 2009 MaryKay rated it liked it
Shelves: 2009
The characters in this book have faults. Their lives are not what they would have planned or chosen. But repentance and forgiveness happen. In chapter 16, I liked where it said, "He was pruning the olive trees in the wrong season. His watering was washing away too much topsoil around the vines. But he didn't care. He would do better tomorrow." Some days we aren't able to do things perfectly, but we do the best we can.
Jul 24, 2013 Jacqui rated it it was amazing
This book is meant to be enjoyed sitting outside on a hot summer evening with a glass of wine and nothing important to do the next day.

Every time I read this book I remember exactly why I love it so much. Sure I recommend it to friends and talk it up, but the way this book makes the reader feel is something indescribable. The feeling is somewhere between the cliches of sinking into a hot bath and going for an evening walk through the fields. It also makes me question my reviews of other books,
Aug 16, 2007 Candice rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Barb
I read this for our book group, and we all enjoyed it. It was a light story with interesting, memorable and likeable characters. The author has a great sense of humor and he knows when to use it.

What do you think a miracle is? Is it some big, earth-shattering event? Or is it something personal that maybe only a few people know about. This made me think more about what a miracle really is. I think it's something as personal as reuniting with a lost love or finding a better relationship between a
Karen Patterson
Jul 29, 2009 Karen Patterson rated it it was amazing
I must say this is one of my top 10 books and one I buy often to give away as gifts. You will laugh, cry and feel warm and fuzzy all over at times. Is it action-packed? No, but it's a beautiful and witty story about a middle-aged man who returns home to his small, charming, but falling apart, village. The characters are very interesting and quirky and you find yourself caught up in their day-to-day lives, secrets are revealed, with romance and faith renewed and redemption found. In fact, I was e ...more
Jill Manske
May 23, 2014 Jill Manske rated it liked it
The Miracles of Santo Fico is a combination fairy tale and fable that takes place in a small village in Tuscany. D.L. Smith weaves a story of miracles, both false and real, in this very poor, isolated village. It seems as if every character has a deep, dark secret that takes enormous energy to conceal, often leading to bitterness and barely suppressed rage. The people of Santo Fico go about their lives, while the secrets and mysteries are buried and never discussed. I don't think I've ever read ...more
Aug 21, 2015 Alyson rated it really liked it
Shelves: bookclub
What a gem! This was a fun book that had me laughing out loud (blotched angel miracle). I enjoyed the setting of a run down, unknown, little Italian town. The characters were well developed and unique. You could easily fall in love with everyone in the town. I enjoyed the mysteries surrounding the town and thought everything came together beautifully. I can’t say I loved any one character more, they were all charming.

I am not big on suspense. I just don’t enjoy it. I’m sure no other person who
Aug 12, 2015 Jennifer rated it it was amazing
Ah, that all books could be this good. I do think you need to be 30 and over to truly enjoy the book. Meaning, you have to have lived life long enough to get the pain and anguish of regret and disappointment and the joy of forgiveness to appreciate the characters. Otherwise, this book would just come across as a fun, delightful read.
May 30, 2012 Mary rated it really liked it
Once in a while, I just want a good story; nothing shocking, nothing shmaltzy, nothing overly suspenseful...just a good story, with interesting characters, a solid plot and a little subtle humor. This little book provided that!

Michele Hutchins
Jul 09, 2014 Michele Hutchins rated it it was amazing
This book is officially one of my "read over and over again" favorites. The storyline is both entertaining and enlightening, inviting you to ponder how our hearts, attitudes, and beliefs can change as we grow. It reinforces the fundamental truths of life while allowing you a good chuckle at the foolish things we all do in the name of love and saving face in a small town. The intersecting relationships are portrayed as they really work in our circles of friends and family - sometimes we are at od ...more
Nov 14, 2008 Janice rated it it was amazing
A wonderful, delightful read.
Joelle Anthony
Jan 18, 2013 Joelle Anthony rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this novel. It's a bit slow moving in the beginning and took me until about page 80 before I was really sucked in, but that said, I never really wanted to stop reading. I knew it was something special and it felt good to read it - a bit heartwarming, I guess.

The only real detraction was that one character speaks English with a written-in-accent which drove me crazy. It totally stopped the flow every time he said something like, "there would'a be nothing wrong with'a..." That sor
Dec 16, 2013 Leen rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-2010
Boeken die minder dan vijf euro hebben gekost zijn meestal niet veel soeps (ook al komt het dan van het Boekenfestijn). Ik begon dan ook met hele lage verwachtingen te lezen. Ik moet zeggen dat meneer Smith mij aangenaam verrast heeft: zijn schrijfstijl is van een aangenaam ritme, met leuke constructies, geen al te ingewikkelde beschrijvingen en er is genoeg ruimte overgelaten voor de fantasie van de lezer. Zijn personages konden wel beter, want Leo (bv) komt op mij over als een arrogante zak zo ...more
Sep 12, 2015 Elena rated it it was amazing
Nice, comforting, simple book i was very much in mood for while running on elliptical in my basement gym. I valued the same kind, quiet quality in it that i found in "Anne of Green Gables". Really liked the story (the metaphor) about butterflies told by the priest -- how only due to great struggle of freeing themselves from their cocoons butterflies can fill their stomachs and then veins of the wings with much needed fluid. Help the butterfly (break the thread) and the butterfly will die. So the ...more
Apr 22, 2014 Tania rated it it was amazing
Very fun read! Some of the passages are exceptionally beautiful and I love how the characters' stories are wound together and become clearer throughout. The ending was also better than I imagined/hoped for! I definitely want to go to Tuscany now--the descriptions of the bread, fruit, pasta, cheese, and wine meals made my mouth water.
May 20, 2014 Debbi rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book a lot. Loved the setting, the characters and the whole theme of miracles and what constitutes a miracle! Unlike another reviewer, I though this book was well written. What makes a good story are all the probabilities - if there were none , there would be no story worth telling! This is a fun, heart warming read.
J Godwin
Jan 05, 2015 J Godwin rated it it was amazing
I read this book several years ago and when my daughter bought "Beautiful Ruins" for me this Christmas, I could not quit searching until I found it. Now I will have to buy and read the book before our trip to Italy in 2 months!

This is definitely a keeper. Don't give it away like I did!
Carol Horner leclair
Jul 09, 2015 Carol Horner leclair rated it it was amazing
Once in a Blue Moon one reads a magical book.
This is that book. I loved the characters and parts of the book had me laughing so hard that I nearly collapsed. I don't usually read books twice but I've read this one three times. I wish Mr Smith would write another book...soon.
Dec 28, 2015 Nick rated it it was ok
It's a very light easy read. Fairly likable, yet still flawed cast of characters. Pleasantly generic story... I really wanted to like this book more, but it was just too simple for me. If you're looking for that, you'll be pleased.
Apr 14, 2015 Jules rated it it was amazing
I chose this book solely on it's cover. The first half of the book was good, but it wasn't until the "miracles" started that I became fully engaged. I laughed hysterically at some of the antics pulled in this book. Worth reading again.
Apr 08, 2014 Alice rated it really liked it
I really liked this book. Kind of a bland start, but the writing is really good - there are quite a few laugh out loud funny bits. It ties up into a nice happy ending, which is a bit soppy, but still a good book
Sep 17, 2012 Marten rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this wonderful book. The author does a nice job of developing the characters and leading the reader to the hilarious climax and resolution of the story. I chuckled throughout the last 100 pages or so. I felt part of the little town and wanted to get involved in making the townsfolk see what was going on. I guess that is testimony to the well-written nature of this book.

I would definitely recommend this book to readers. It could be a fun beach read or a book to teach in class. W
Barbara Selby
This charming novel set in an an isolated area of Tuscany is full of wonderful characters and a priest who looks for miracles and finds them.
May 07, 2008 Sonny rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
I picked this book for Book Club because the review said it was like Chocolat. Having loved that movie, I hoped I would love this book. I did enjoy the book, but I was frustrated with the poor quality of the writing. The author switched the point of view constantly, oftentimes in the middle of a paragraph, and the character development was shallow. I was surprised the book got published! Regardless, it was a good story, quite touching, and with many good themes to explore. I enjoyed the way thin ...more
Apr 14, 2009 Jennifer rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: friends and family
Recommended to Jennifer by: Picked it up at a library book sale
This was a good book, light and easy to read.
Like others, I realized miracles come in many different packages and are very personal.
It is a hopeful book when it doesn't seem that hope exists.
Their lost faith is regained by simple acts and good intentions. This is a nice thing to read about.
The author hooks the reader by talking about unrevealed secrets. As a reader, I wanted to know, it kept me reading. I cared about the characters. Unfortunately, some writers do not stir that desire to know
Dec 23, 2015 Rachel rated it it was amazing
My uncle wrote this and he is one of the best people in the world! A true literary labor of love!
Aug 07, 2009 Marvin rated it really liked it
Shelves: religion
A delightful book, set in a remote Italian village, reminiscent of Simple Prayers, by Michael Golding, who provided a blurb for this one. As in The Miracle, a priest doubts that God loves him. Villagers themselves in need of redemption from lives of deception and desperation make elaborate plans to create a miracle, all of which go awry in amusing ways. In the end, redemption comes in the form of the simplest and most profound of miracles--love and forgiveness and the care of neighbor for neighb ...more
May 29, 2014 Shauna rated it really liked it
Interesting characters and good story set in Italy. Themes of regret and forgiveness.
Oct 27, 2012 Darcy rated it it was amazing
What a beautiful, uplifing story! At first, I thought Leo and his buddy were the kind of engaging scoundrels such as those found in Steinbeck's "Tortilla Flats"--where every dollar found was an excuse to amble down the lane for a jug of "good red wine". But the characters in this book were so much more deep, complex, and real. I loved discovering each of the true miracles as they were revealed. It reminded me how any time a human heart heals, or a terrible past is forgiven, or people learn how t ...more
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