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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

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Length: 272 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

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"ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS I have ever read on the good people of Italy, its foods, customs, and hospitality.” ~ Virginia H. Bliss

"I LOVED READING THIS BOOK!. It made me grateful to be half Italian." ~ Lynn Z

“THE MAN IS A GENIUS! James Ernest Shaw captured the Italian spirit.” ~ Lucretia Votta

“A GREAT BOOK” ~ Debbie Barnard Heinzman

"WONDERFUL BOOK!l An Italian Journey takes you to the real Italy...and you learn why its siren song is so magical." ~ Nancy E Roberts

"A MUST READ!! You will love it" ~ Maria Lodge

"A VERY GOOD BOOK! James Ernest Shaw writes very well—you can almost feel and see the things that he does.” ~ Roberta

"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.”


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.


About the Author

James Ernest Shaw lives and writes from small-town America, in the heart of what John Steinbeck called "the prettiest state I ever saw." He and his wife Mardi divide their time between their five children and their eight grandchildren. He is the author of two other books. AN AMERICAN JOURNEY: Travels with Friday in Search of American and Americans and AN ITALIAN JOURNEY: Celebrating the Sweet Life of Tuscany, a slightly revised edition containing over forty beautiful photographs of the Tuscan countryside.

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 637 KB
  • Print Length: 272 pages
  • Publisher: CAMPAGNA; Second NO PEN & INK DRAWINGS NO COLOR PHOTOGRAPHS edition (Nov. 27 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006NZ4UUW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #136,069 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9fb0dc0c) out of 5 stars 169 reviews
25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9f8bfc3c) out of 5 stars A heart-warming voyage Jan. 27 2012
By Dianne Hales - Published on
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.
49 of 61 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9f9207d8) 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
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. 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.
20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9f8d0558) out of 5 stars An Italian Journey March 7 2013
By Susan de Siena - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've been to Italy twice and, like the author, I've fallen in love with Italy and the Italian people. I enjoyed reading about the author's experiences working in the olive groves and his interaction with the people. I did not enjoy reading about his religious opinions. Evolution vs. Creation - really? Better the author had stayed with harvesting olives and learning Italian.
24 of 30 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa0391eb8) out of 5 stars So good you will want to read it again Feb. 14 2012
By Ilona - Published on
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.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa03913cc) out of 5 stars Made me want to fly to Tuscany immediately! June 16 2012
By Diane L. Lybbert - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Memoir of Shaw, in his 60's, who decides to go to Italy and bicycle from Tuscan farm to Tuscan farm to help bring in the grape and olive harvest. His goal is to sit at the tables of these Italian farmers, learn their language, their way of life, and what makes them the special people they are. I loved this book! It made me want to get on a plane and fly off to Tuscany immediately (but NOT to bicycle from place to place!). Part travelogue, part memoir, part cultural study, just a wonderful book! [**FOR THOSE WHO OBJECTED TO THE "GOD STUFF" - if you only read books about things you like, holding views you hold, etc., you would have a rather short reading list and would miss opportunities to expand your understanding. I have read many books that contained language or violence or such that I don't personally practice, but that didn't keep me from enjoying (and even recommending) the books. Lighten up!**]