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Mezza Italiana: An Enchanting Story About Love, Family, La Dolce Vita and Finding Your Place in the World
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Mezza Italiana: An Enchanting Story About Love, Family, La Dolce Vita and Finding Your Place in the World

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3.84  ·  Rating details ·  117 ratings  ·  21 reviews
Beautiful writing, gorgeous settings, mouthwatering food and heart-warming themes of acceptance and endurance make Mezza Italiana a very special journey into the soul of Italy, and into a family you'll never forget! Growing up in Brisbane in the 1970s and 80s, Zoe Boccabella knew if you wanted to fit in, you did not bottle tomatoes, have plastic on the hallway carpet or a ...more
Kindle Edition, 384 pages
Published April 1st 2011 by ABC Books
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Average rating 3.84  · 
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 ·  117 ratings  ·  21 reviews


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Karen Brooks
Apr 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
Damn Goodreads! I just wrote a long review about this book only to see it wiped. OK. Here goes again...
This was a delightful book that is part travel story, part a very personal narrative of self-discovery, that the author Zoe Boccabella (beautiful mouth in Italian) shares with us. Having been born in Australia when assimilation was at the fore, and anything that smacked of difference or Otherness was hidden, Zoe was ashamed (much to her nonno and nonna's chagrin) of her Italian half - the pater
...more
Diane
May 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
If you have ever lived in two countries, especially through migration, then this book will be a meaningful read. Zoe Boccabella writes of her personal journey through that emotional tug of war: the conflict between the need of belonging to ones adopted country and the longing to connect with ones country of origin. Mezza.. half. In her case it is Australia's Gold Coast and the Abruzzi region of Italy. She writes enchantingly of her travels and discoveries as she reconnects to an Italian past.
Denise Tannock
I loved this book with its warm and moving anecdotes
Brittany Wouters
Jul 09, 2018 rated it it was ok
Unstructured and repetitive, it has nice themes, but a lot of the reminiscences are repetitive and it's really hard to keep track of everyone when there's like three women named Francesca in the storyline...

That being said, it was a really in-depth look at how generations view emigration and the familial and cultural ties that are cut, kept and formed.

2/5 because I can't believe I'm saying this, but it could have been 150 pages shorter without losing anything significant.
Vivienne
Mar 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
#22. Loved this gentle, evocative book. Thanks to Janene from my Italian language and culture class for the loan. Memories not just of Italy but of the lives of my 'migrant' relatives. My Mezza Italiana daughters will love this book!
Gina Carluccio
Oct 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Loved it! Thanks Zoe. Just throughly loved it!
Kar
Jul 05, 2020 rated it it was ok
This was a very boring book. It did not develop the characters at all.
I do not recommend it.
It is written at a very low level.
Rocky Suppa
Jul 07, 2017 rated it liked it
A little hard to read but ended up being entertaining
Bec
Jul 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Could relate to so much to Zoe's story being a second generation Italian Australian and her descriptive language just makes me want to visit Italy even more.
Miryana Begovich
Dec 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: adult
An amazing story of being different and finding yourself.
One I could highly relate to.
Rose Dickson
Jun 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Zoe Boccabella provides some great insights into the children of migrants. She explores the theme of growing up in a migrant family with all the turmoil of trying to belong to the Australian culture in which she was to grow up. Her rejection of her parent's Italian roots was a description of the experiences of many first generation Australian children and probably describes what inevitably continues to occur today .. the children of migrants torn between two cultures, struggling to find a place ...more
Ben
Aug 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There are a lot of books written about Italy and it's easy to think 'here we go again', but once in a while a book comes along that is different and this is one of them.

Mezza Italiana by Zoe Boccabella is a book with heart, evident in the meticulous care Boccabella has taken to capture stories of her family, her childhood, and her current life when she travels to Italy to stay in the house that has belonged to her family, (for the record, how fascinating to have access to an abode your ancestor
...more
Michelle
Sep 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: italy-italian
Mezza Italiana by Zoë Boccabella recounts the author's return to her ancestral town in Abruzzo, where she begins to reconcile the two halves of herself, Australian and Italian. (Mezza Italiana means half-Italian.)

Boccabella grew up in Australia, not too keen on having a funny-sounding last name and generally begrudging of her Italian heritage. But then at the urging of her mother, she traveled to her ancestral town, Fossa in the mountains of Abruzzo, with her boyfriend who more eagerly embraced
...more
Michelle
Feb 12, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mezza Italiana by Zoë Boccabella recounts the author’s return to her ancestral town in Abruzzo, where she begins to reconcile the two halves of herself, Australia and Italian. (Mezza Italiana means half-Italian.)

Boccabella grew up in Australia, not too keen on having a funny-sounding last name and generally begrudging of her Italian heritage. But then at the urging of her mother, she traveled to her ancestral town, Fossa in the mountains of Abruzzo, with her boyfriend who more eagerly embraced h
...more
Hayley
Mar 27, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: books-owned
Part homage to a family and part love story to Italy, Boccabella's tale of discovering her heritage is an interesting read for those with a fondness for Italy.

Like the author I live in Brisbane, and having spent time in Italy I found I related on a number of levels. However, not being Italian myself, there was much to learn about the culture and identity.

Unfortunately I found many parts of the book repetitive, a little dull and I simply couldn't get past Boccabella's bitterness at initially tur
...more
Debbie Terranova
Feb 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
Zoe Boccabella has written a delightful account about finding her identity and of coming to terms with heritage, culture, and the burden of family expectations.
After experiencing racial prejudice and bullying at school, the author rejected her Italian-ness in order to be like all the rest. While she adored her grandfather, she swept the traditions of the old country under the carpet in order to fit in. After years of his urging her to visit the family home in Fossa in the mountainous centre of
...more
Gavin Anderson
May 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Mezza Italiana is totally intoxicating, with wonderful descriptive writing that resonates across all cultures, especially anyone with an interest in Italy. Reading it was like escaping to Italy, experiencing romantic, gastronomic, historic and modern Italy all in one book.

A very special book.

Gavin
Anna
Jul 21, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography-memoir
Well-written, emotive, and with much that I could relate to, being half-Italian myself. By the end, though, I found it started to get a bit repetitive. Good solid holiday read.
Michelle
Apr 18, 2016 rated it liked it
The travel writing elements and family and cultural memories were interesting. But it was a little sad in the end.
Angela Smith
Jan 12, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful book so well written that it enabled the reader to see the beautiful landscape of Italy as well as clearly picturing the reproach on her Nonna's face. "Nonna not Nanna!"
Andy
Jul 31, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book although I was a little flat at the end. I knew it was building up however it just left me feeling very sad.
Gavin
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Mar 08, 2012
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Mary Bennetts
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Susan Donald
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Nov 27, 2016
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Zoë Boccabella is an Australian author whose books have been much acclaimed, shortlisted for both popular and literary awards and published internationally. Her writing is influenced by her migrant ancestry, spoken histories and recipes handed-down, alongside travels in Europe and Australia. With a degree in literature and sociology and a Master of Philosophy, Zoë has also worked as a researcher a ...more

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