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Under the Southern Sun
Dances with Luigi
From the Publisher...
In this splendid memoir, veteran TV journalist Paul Paolicelli does what many of us can only dream of--he picks up and moves to a foreign country in an attempt to trace his ancestral roots. With the help of Luigi, his guide and companion, he travels through Italy--Rome, Gamberale, Matera, Miglionico, Alessandra, even Mussolini's hometown of Predappio--and discovers the tragic legacy of the Second World War that is still affecting the Old Country. He visits ancient castles and village churches, samples superb Italian cuisine, haggles at the open air market at Porta Portese, enjoys an Alessandra siest, and frequents "coffee bars," where beggars discuss politics with affluent Italian locals. He finds long-lost cousins during the day and performs with an amatuer jazz group during the night. Along the way, he discovers deeply moving stories about his family's past and learns answers to questions to questions that have plagued him since childhood.
     More than just a spiritual account of one man's ancestral search,
Dances With Luigi is also a stunning portrait of la bella Italia--both the old and new--that is painted beautifully in all of its glamour, history and contradictions. (more...)

  
"[A] touching memoir...The reader becomes a passenger on a sensual trip throught the Italian countryside as Paolicelli vividly describeds each person he meets and each food he tastes."-- Chicago Tribune

   
" ...a beautiful story...Vivid descriptions of the Italian countryside and it people carry the reader along...A compelling and moving memoir, this tale is long remembered long after it has been read." -- Library Journal

    
"...the writing has a headlong, heartfelt quality, the energy of someone who has searched to find words for what he feels so deeply...almost unbearably moving." --Booklist

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From the Publisher...
Recently there has been a seemingly endless stream of books praising the glories of ancient and modern Rome, fretting over Venice's rising tides and moldering galleries, celebrating the Tuscan countryside, wines and cuisines. But there have been curiously few writings that deal directly with Italy as the country of origin for the grand and great-grandparents of nearly 26 million Americans. The greatest majority--more than eight out of ten--of those American descendants of immigrant Italians aren't the progeny of Venitian doges or Tuscan wealth, but are the diaspora of Southern Italians, people from a place very different from Renaissance Florence or the modern political entity of Rome: Southern Italians, mostly from villages and towns sprinkled about the dramatic and remote countryside of Italian provinces, which even now tourists find only with determination and rental cars.
     In
Under the Southern Sun: Stories of the Real Italy and the Americans it Created, journalist Paul Paolicelli takes us on a grand tour of the Southern Italy of most Italian-American immigrants, including Calabria, Basilicata, Puglia, Sicily, Abruzzo and Molise and explores the many fascinating elements of Southern Italian society, history, culture. (more....)

   
"A splendid portrait, vivid and affecting."--Kirkus Reviews

     "[Paolicelli's] zeal for the stories he hears is evident in his entusiastic and easy-to-read prose."-
-Publishers Weekly

    
"Paolicelli...undertakes an illuminating journey of self-discovery...smashing conventional stereotypes, he opens a window into an essentially unexplored cultural and geographical landscape..." --Booklist



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About the Author
Book Reviews and Articles by Paul Paolicelli
Essay on "Italicity"
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