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Click on each book for the full review

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The Tuscan Secret 
 

Angela Petch

Il Mulino. An old crumbling mill, by a winding river, nestled in the Tuscan mountains. An empty home that holds memories of homemade pasta and Nonna’s stories by the fire, and later: the Nazi invasion, and a family torn apart by a heartbreaking betrayal.

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The Case of the Sleeping Beauty

Richard Walmsley

Inspector Beppe Stancato, newly appointed commissario in the town of Pescara, in Abruzzo, just prior to the earthquake which struck the mountain capital city of L'Aquila in 2009. The intriguing plot has many twists and turns, leading to a tense climax. The story is laced with humour and exalts the spectacular scenery and cuisine of this region of Central Italy.

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A Girl Returned

Donatella Di Pietrantonio

Without warning or explanation, an unnamed 13-year-old girl is sent away from the family she has always thought of as hers to live with her birth family: a large, chaotic assortment of individuals whom she has never met and who seem anything but welcoming. Thus begins a new life, one of struggle, tension, and conflict, especially between the young girl and her mother. But in her relationship with Adriana and Vincenzo, two of her newly acquired siblings, she will find the strength to start again and to build a new and enduring sense of self

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Two Women in Rome

Elizabeth Buchan

Lottie Archer arrives in Rome excited to begin her new job as an archivist. When she discovers a valuable fifteenth-century painting, she is drawn to find out more about the woman who left it behind, Nina Lawrence. 
Nina seems to have led a rewarding and useful life, restoring Italian gardens to their full glory following the destruction of World War Two. So why did no one attend her funeral in 1978? 
In exploring Nina's past, Lottie unravels a tragic love story beset by the political turmoil of post-war Italy. And as she edges closer to understanding Nina, she begins to confront the losses in her own life.

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The Fashion Lover's Guide to Milan

Rachael Martin

Whether you're looking for designer labels within the city's luxury fashion district, prefer to browse the city's boutiques or pick up some quality vintage at the city's vintage shops and markets, this is the guide that will tell you where to go. Split into geographical sections along with relevant maps, cultural highlights and suggestions for where to eat and drink, it places Milan as the city of fashion within the context of Italian fashion history and a city and brings the stories of its people to life

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Mezza Italiana 

Zoe Boccabella

 Zoë couldn't shake the unsettling sense of feeling 'half-and-half' - half Australian, ‘mezza italiana’ - unable to fit fully into either culture, or merge the two. Years later, she travels to her family's ancestral village of Fossa in Abruzzo and discovers a captivating place of medieval castles, mystics, serpent charmers and witches. 

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The Peasants of Abruzzo

Roberta Scipioni Ball

The year is 1910. Fifty years after Italy’s unification. The southern regions remain destitute, the peasants left with nothing. Living in the remote mountains of Abruzzo, Anselmo Scipioni knows he can either risk starvation or emigrate to America like millions of others.

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Preserving Italy

Domenica Marchetti

A wonderful collection of over 150 recipes for conserves, pickles, infusions, sauces, which capture the flavours of Italy. It is beautifully presented with a personal note to introduce each recipe, suggestions for how to use what you preserve, comprehensive instructions and illustrated with excellent photographs. 

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My Italian Country Chidhood

Aldo Zilli

A heart-warming story of a chef’s journey from the hills of Abruzzo to the heart of Soho. Aldo Zilli has been a major player in the world of celebrity chefs, appearing regularly on both television and radio as presenter and chef for four decades

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Abruzzo Intrigue

Bluette Matthey

Hardy Durkin leads a hiking tour into Italy's Abruzzo region where they experience the area's culture, food, and history. There is a good deal of exposure to the region's religious and spiritual past, and one of the tour group's members struggles with an odyssey of the soul that ends in redemption

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Home To Italy

Peter Pezzelli

In this delightful, moving novel, Peter Pezzelli brings to life the earthy sensuality of Italy's Abruzzo region— the smell of just-baked bread wafting through the village piazza; the shopkeepers sweeping the sidewalks first thing in the morning; groups of cyclists dotting the mountain roads—and spins a story of May-December romance as sharp and delicious as the olives of Villa San Giuseppe.

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Finding Valentino

Angela Di Sciascio

Angela Di Sciascio's father can no longer describe his past, lost in a world ravaged by Alzheimer’s disease. Deciding not to let his story fade, Angela embarks on a voyage that takes her through four seasons in her father’s Italy, reconnecting to her ancestry and absorbing all of its chaos, beauty and style.

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Gran Sasso

Gary Parkins

In 1943, Mussolini is deposed and taken to a secret location. But in London, Winston Churchill is troubled. The only thing that can head off a Communists takeover is to put Mussolini back in power. Naturally, Churchill cannot be seen to arrange such a thing.

Could Churchill's agents persuade Hitler's forces to rescue Mussolini?  The plot culminates in a daring, near-impossible glider-raid on a skiing hotel on Gran Sasso, the highest peak in the Apennine Mountains.