North of Naples, South of Rome

By: Paolo Tullio

Publication Date: January 1996


North of Naples, South of Rome by Paolo Tullio

‘People from all over Italy lay claim to living in the real Italy, but they are wrong. The real Italy lies here, in the Comino Valley, north of Naples, south of Rome, high in the mountains, surrounded by the Apennine peaks.’

Since childhood, Paolo Tullio has returned each year to his hometown of Gallinaro and the immoderate, warmhearted people of his valley, delightfully evoked here. North of Naples, South of Rome encompasses a chaotic wine competition, the Italian cantina, market-day haggling and truffle-hunting, winning a local election, roasting a pig whole, and the scams and the charms of Naples. It looks in disbelief at local bureaucracy, and observes the Catholic Church’s relationship to daily life. With fascinating detours on local buildings, history, folklore and fashion, the reader is taken aboard a carousel of picnics, feasts and fireworks, illuminating an unknown and irresistible corner of Italy.

‘Less manipulative than Peter Mayle … a wonderful initiation to the piquant joys of Italian country living … As reviving as a hot espresso.’The Sunday Times

‘A genuine warm breeze of Italy blows from these pages.’ Brian Fallon, The Irish Times

‘ …this book will warm the heart, expand the soul, and can even be used to nourish the body.’ Image

‘A delightful, often hilarious insight to the Italy of today. If you want to know what makes the real Italy and real Italians tick, do not on any account neglect to read this. You will be intrigued and delighted.’ Tim Cranmer, Cork Examiner

‘Tullio brings his home town and the valley stretching beneath alive to us with all their faults, beauty and charm. It deserves to be more widely read than the book the fellow wrote about Provence.’ Gillian Somerville Large, Irish Independent

‘Colourful, sometimes hilarious, sometimes frustration and pathos filled, this is a fascinating portrayal of family life in and around the little Italian town that has been home to the author and his many relatives for 600 years.’ Marian Curd, The Universe

‘Tullio’s opinionated, convivial, sometimes irreverent guide to Italy and the Italians, the basis for a six-part PBS television series, takes us down byways rarely glimpsed by tourists.’ Publishers Weekly

‘A light and engaging visit to an Italian mountain valley town.’ Kirkus Reviews


PAOLO TULLIO lives in County Wicklow and the Comino Valley with his wife, Susan Morley, and two children. Former award-winning restaurateur, he is now a computer programmer, wine-trader, thespian and writer. He is author of mushroom.man (1998).

Out of stock

Also available as an ebook
Weight 0.5 kg
Dimensions 138 × 216 mm
Publication Date

January 1996


Paperback, 254pp