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Vroom with a View: In Search of Italy's Dolce Vita on a '61 Vespa [Paperback]

Peter Moore


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Paperback, Feb. 21 2006 --  

Book Description

Feb. 21 2006
It was love at first sight—the Vespa had everything he wanted—a few dents and scratches, saddle seats and temperamental electrics. When Moore sat on it for the first time, he felt like a sharp-suited, Ray Ban wearing young Marcello Mastroianni. Riding the back roads, visiting small towns, sleeping in haylofts, Moore shows us an Italy rarely seen—from picnicking in the Italian Alps to rattling through cobbled hilltop towns to gate-crashing France Mayes's villa. When Moore's girlfriend, Sally, joins him for two weeks on the road, his fantasy is complete, summer in Italy on a Vespa with too much chrome and a pretty girl riding on the back. But it is Sophia's delicate constitution we owe the greatest gratitude. Her need for constant pampering and frequent stops hypnotizes all those who gaze upon her. The locals, unaccustomed to foreign visitors, graciously invite Sopia (and Moore) into their homes, inns and restaurants to share their memories of their first Vespa; their first serious romance. Sophia forced Moore to slow down, gave him time to enjoy the simple beauty of Italy and its people—and let him experience Italy's dolce vita.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Centro Books (Feb. 21 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933572019
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933572017
  • Product Dimensions: 20.2 x 12.9 x 2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 281 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #713,712 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"'Its punning title sets the tone for this off-beat travel book...touched by romance and haunted by the glamour of Sophia Loren, it's a larky, laddish tale of roadside picnics, bad behaviour and attempting to re-enact 'Roman Holiday" YOU magazine "'Moore has the parched dry wit, the solid brass cojones of a true traveller and rare eye for the madness of the wider world'" JOHN BIRMINGHAM "'Moore is the genuine article, a traveller's traveller...inspirational stuff'" FHM magazine "'Haunted by the glamour of Sophia Loren, it's a larky, laddish tale'" -- MAIL ON SUNDAY "'Peter Moore...the Jim Carrey of travel writing, has tapped out another racy travelogue' " -- SUNDAY HERALD --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Peter Moore is an itinerant hobo who is lucky enough to be able to support his insatiable travel habit (he has visited 92 countries so far) through writing. He is the author of The Wrong Way Home, The Full Montezuma, Swahili for the Broken-Hearted (shortlisted for the WHSmith People's Choice Travel Book Award), Vroom with a View and the classic alternative travel guide, No Shitting in the Toilet. When he is not on the road, you'll find Peter in either London or Sydney watching 'Neighbours'. Sad, really. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  26 reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This could be the best way to see Italy Aug. 21 2005
By Dick Paetzke - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Peter Moore's book is a charmer. If you love Italy, the real Italy, and Vespas, the real Italian scooter, you'll love this book. Peter Moore, whom I wish I knew, has written a wonderful love story about a country that captivated him, seen the way most people will never see it. Maybe the spirit of the American Old West still lives in Australia. It's pretty much died out here. We Yanks seem pretty limited to the four or five places we've heard of -- Venice, Cinque Terre, Florence, and a couple more we remember from skimpy Geography classes. Moore, an Aussie, sets out to explore Italy, mostly from Tuscany to Rome on a scooter whose vintage matches his own. He does touch on those places overrun with tourists, but the heart of his tale is what happens in little trattorias, greasy workshops, and tiny places you've never heard of. The story is more Don Quixote than Under The Tuscan Sun and Moore is more Dave Barry than Frances Mays. He's joined on his trip by his girlfriend (and wife to be)as he tunes up his 40 year old scoot and his relationship with Sally as they alternately zip and sputter from one little town to another. I have to confess being totally predisposd to this book, being the owner of two Vespas and a home in Italy where my wife and I spend as many weeks as we can during the year. Moore knows Italians as we do, people filled with enthusiasm and eccentricities that make Anglo Saxons crazy, the creators of food, music, and a passion for living to die for. He finds it all on his rusty steed and I enjoyed every km of the way. My wife is reading the book right now and raves about it. The book was a gift from an Englishman from whom I bought my latest Vespa. I'm buying more copies and giving them to friends I love. Do yourself a favor and buy this lovely book. Then get a Vespa and a whole bunch of new friends that go with it.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars La Dolce Vita! Jan. 24 2006
By D. SMITH - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I have loved (and ridden) Vespas for over 21 years (longer than I have had a driver's license, and I have loved reading Peter Moore's books for almost 7 years. I never thought I would see the two come together in such a well-written, entertaining way. Peter describes Italy in a way that only a dry, somewhat "off" Aussie could, yet still allows romance to shine through his observations. Likewise, the Vespa serves as a perfect metaphor for the country, yet at the same time is more than just an incidental presence in the story; indeed, the Vespa is observed and remarked upon very frequently, and always tastefully. The only other medium in which the Vespa was so well portrayed was in the film "Night on Earth" (and, again, the same could perhaps be said of the Rome portrayed in the same film, like no other). This is a book great for any occasion and I highly recommend it to anyone with an interest in travel, humour, art, style, taste, and Vespas.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable! June 18 2006
By M.C. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I'll buy any travelogue if it's written about Italy. This one did not disappoint. The author buys a Vespa off Ebay and travels through Italy, describing each city or town and its people and food. Never does the author come across as being "uppity" to Italians, but always as a down-to-earth man. Written with humor, it's never over-the-top. It's one of the most enjoyable travelogues I've read. I highly recommend!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Glad to see this in the US! Aug. 28 2006
By JerseyGirl - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I've enjoyed Peter Moore's books for five years now--long before I first tracked him down to pick his brain about travel and publishing--and I bought this one a year ago off amazon.co.uk. I'm pleased to see that Peter's books are finally being published in the US and hope that this is the first of many. "Vroom With A View" is an entertaining account of riding an ancient Vespa around Italy--what a great idea! When I finished it, I wanted to go buy my own scooter, off of eBay, of course.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Breezy but friendly April 2 2013
By Christopher Pelham - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I found it to be pretty superficial and breezy, but I quickly read it all the way through anyway because it did give me the feeling of being there, exploring Italy on a Vespa, and I thought that was a worthwhile point-of-view to experience prior to traveling to Italy myself for the first time. While it could be much more detailed and compelling, it does nevertheless have just enough detail to go with its unique narrative vantage point (narrated from a scooter), to distinguish it from travel guides and other travel books, and you get to tag along with a tourist who successfully meets and becomes friends with Italian people wherever he goes, and experience through his mind what that is like. It's meant to be lighthearted and fun and not too serious, and that's what it is. If you are looking for an intense subjective account of encounters with Italian art, or for serious romance, look elsewhere.
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