My husband and I have really enjoyed reading “Italian Ways” by Tim Parks, about his experiences with riding trains throughout the country, as a commuter and as a tourist. We started with this book rather than his better-known “Italian Neighbors”, about his early experiences as a British ex-Pat in Italy. We may move on to that after we finish “Hero’s Way: Walking with Garibaldi from Rome to Ravenna”, which we are reading now.
In this one, Parks and his wife follow in the footsteps of Garibaldi’s army as they trekked across the Apennines in 1949. We are learning about Garibaldi and his wife Anita, Italian history, and this lightly-touristed area of Italy. (And while we are avid hikers, we are not inspired to take on a similar trek after reading of the difficulties encountered by the author). Parks knows his history and writes well, with a sort of “bemused affection” (quoting from a review) toward his chosen country and its citizens.