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An Italian Journey: A Harvest of Revelations in the Olive Groves of Tuscany: A Pretty Girl, Seven Tuscan Farmers, and a Roberto Rossellini Film
 
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An Italian Journey: A Harvest of Revelations in the Olive Groves of Tuscany: A Pretty Girl, Seven Tuscan Farmers, and a Roberto Rossellini Film [Kindle Edition]

James Ernest Shaw

Print List Price: CDN$ 17.81
Kindle Price: CDN$ 5.50 includes free international wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
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Product Description

Product Description

"I LOVE ITALY & LOVED THIS BOOK! I fell in love with Italy 3 years ago. This book brought back some of the delightful scenes and experiences. I, too, noticed and enjoyed the hospitality. Tuscany was so beautiful and magical, just as the author described. It was like being there again." ~ Nancy

"A MARVELOUS BOOK ABOUT MARVELOUS PEOPLE! The book transported me back to two happy experiences. One was growing up on a farm with my Italian grandma, the other was spending a summer in Tuscany. Shaw's adventures are divided into engaging chapters that nicely incorporate quotes and beautiful illustrations. AN ITALIAN JOURNEY made my heart glow with appreciation for Italians, the land, and life in general." ~ Janine O

"Planning a trip to Italy? Read this so you don't miss out on the Italy that tours never visit. If you're staying at home, just sit back and enjoy the ride. Preferably with a nice Tuscan wine at your side." ~ Dianne Hales, author of La Bella Lingua

"Many of us would love to live this book. James Shaw has done it for us and allowed us to come along. I like it all, an adventurous journey with a compassionate author. Well Done, Well Done." ~ Roscaloni

"I didn't want AN ITALIAN JOURNEY to end. We all have a "story" to tell of how our lives have been shaped by our faith. I so appreciated how the author wove the story of his faith journey into his journey of discovery in Italy. I'll be sharing this wonderful book! Ciao!" ~ Jeanne A

An adventure of the heart in the mold of literature's classic spiritual journeys.

It began with a girl. Then it was Italian food. After that it was books and discovering that even Mark Twain had fallen for Italy.

E.M. Forster was smitten too: “Love and understand the Italians,
for the people are more marvelous than the land.”

What is it about Italy and Italians?

Italian movies immortalize the mystique. Fellini called it La Dolce Vita.
Tornatore's Cinema Paradiso took James Shaw back to the sweet memories of his childhood and the Italian family who operated the hometown theater. And just like in the movie, young James had an “Alfredo” who, by example, taught him about serving people.

James learned that Italians don't feel they're special. Luigi Barzini, author of
The Italians, repeatedly asked, “Why are we the way we are?” and found no
conclusive answer.

But James was convinced there was a reason why the Renaissance was born in Tuscany–and Italy has given the world Saint Francis, Michelangelo, da Vinci, Galileo and now Benigni, whose film "Life Is Beautiful" shows us that the Italian zest for living can even make a heaven of a hell.

And so, after a lifetime of thinking about Italy James became convinced that the way to find out why Italians are the way they are, would be to eat with them at their kitchen tables. Day after day he picked their olives and the Italians began treating him like family. And James began seeing their unique human quality that attracts people to Italy and keeps pulling them back again and again.

But the story doesn't end in the olive groves of Tuscany. To discover the
heart of Italian life, James had to travel back to World War II Italy.

An Italian Journey will inspire you to follow your passions, your enthusiasms,
to your own Beautiful Discoveries.

Bella Scoperta!

About the Author

James Ernest Shaw lives and writes on a small farm in Wisconsin, when he is not in Colorado or Tuscany. James is staying close to the land after a lifetime of adventure, flying and filming all over the world. He and his wife, Mardi, divide their time among their five children and six grandchildren.

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 469 KB
  • Print Length: 272 pages
  • Publisher: CAMPAGNA; Second (No illustrations - No Photos) edition (Nov. 27 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006NZ4UUW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #131,979 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Amazon.com: 3.8 out of 5 stars  78 reviews
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Charming!!! Dec 25 2011
By DianaRZ - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I thoroughly enjoyed An Italian Journey! What a charming and wonderful story with such heart and vivid imagery! I found myself picking it up and not wanting to put it down. Perhaps it is my own love of Italy and my dream of living there and James' ability to transport me into my dream or perhaps it is just a wonderful book. Either way, I recommend you see for yourself!
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A heart-warming voyage Jan. 27 2012
By Dianne Hales - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
There is a bit of Italian, I believe, in everyone's soul and many different ways to discovering and enjoying this special spirit. In AN ITALIAN JOURNEY, James Ernest Shaw takes us along on a voyage, not just into Italy's heart, but his own. Shaw sought to connect with Italians by working side-by-side with them in Tuscan olive fields. But he harvested far more than a seasonal crop. Italy's people are indeed even more marvelous that their land, and Shaw's book is a worthy tribute to them.

If you're planning a trip to Italy, read this so you don't miss out on the Italy that tours never visit. If you're staying at home, just sit back and enjoy the ride. Preferably with a nice Tuscan wine at your side.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So good you will want to read it again Feb. 14 2012
By Ilona - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The reader of An Italian Journey is in for a special treat as they follow the author throughout his journey to small olive farms in Tuscany. As his mode of transportation, James Ernest Shaw chose to use a bicycle on which he pulled a 50 lb. trailer. What an excellent way to experience the land and people of Italy. Before you finish reading the book, you will have no doubt of James' love for God, his relationship with Christ, and his love for the land that God created. This is one of those books you will want to read twice.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars This book needs to have a WARNING LABEL: "Contains preachy fundamentalist far-right text that some may find offensive" July 17 2014
By Julia W. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
So, there I am in Tuscany, having paid for this book on my Kindle, thinking it would be a wonderful companion on the trip. For the first couple of chapters, it is, although the simplistic writing hovers at the fifth grade level. But I put up with it because, after all, I'm in Italy! He's in Italy! Then I notice the phrases "thanking the Lord" and "thanking god" start to creep into the narrative. I keep reading...after all, the man explains that he survived a terrible accident in his 30s. Who am I to judge him for turning to religion, although I didn't expect that to be the topic of a travel memoir... Plus, he's biking through Tuscany, working on farms...what a great story...right?

Unfortunately, Mr. Shaw does not seem to share my predilection for refraining from judging others. Here's where it starts to get funky: "Feel good government aid is hard to be against, but the time may be coming when bureaucrats won't [sic] have to see the errors of their ways - that by paying money for kids born out of wedlock, they are encouraging the bastardization of America, of Italy" (loc 1351). I read on, thinking that perhaps this was a minor preachy moment that would pass. Nope. "I was thinking that giving extra money to single mothers discourages marriages, pure and simple. If we as a society dangle the carrot, should we be surprised that so many women take it?" (loc 1356) I keep reading from pure disbelief that this is in a book about "An Italian Journey". And then, he says to Pietro, "I just read that forty percent of the babies born in the United States are to unwed mothers", (loc 1360) RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE OLDER SINGLE MOTHER WHO IS HIS HOST. Wait...it gets better...he congratulates himself for not going further "because it might have hurt Aurora's feelings..." (LOC 1364) Duh, YA THINK?!?!

Needless to say, I've deleted the book. What a disappointment. If I wanted to read about conservative moralistic thinking, I could have paid for something by Ann Coulter.
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars If you are going to Italy to cycle, or for the harvest....read this book! March 2 2012
By G. Poschman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
A modern day pilgrim's odyssey in Tuscany's olive orchards.
James E. Shaw is a farmer, cyclist and filmmaker, with a youthful curiosity that has taken him on many interesting adventures over his 63 years. This is his account of a solo journey around Tuscany during the autumn olive harvest. His travelogue reflects on modern agriculture in the US and in Italy, while he revels in the glow of the Tuscan landscape and contemplates modern culture through the lens of his own religious awakening.

An Italian Journey reads like a classic road trip with the vehicle as metaphor. To make his journey affordable, he chose a small-wheeled folding bicycle that towed a luggage trailer. While pedaling his heavy load up the steep hills of Tuscany to 6 different farms over 7 weeks, Shaw picks olives for his room and board, breaks bread with his hosts, observes daily life, explores historic villages and shrines, and reflects on family, religion and culture.
His knowledgable insights about traditional farming methods, supplemented with frequent references to organic agriculture icons Rachel Carson, Wendell Berry and Michael Pollan are very astute and worthwhile for anyone who wonders about the future of food.
His interactions with, and observations about the eating traditions and familial dynamics of his Italian hosts were a pleasant surprise and provide entertaining studies in human nature. If you are considering your own pilgrimage to Italy to help with the autumn harvest, or for a bicycle trip, I can recommend this book.

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