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Italian Ways

On And Off The Rails From Milan To Palermo

By Tim Parks

The best-selling author of Italian Neighbors returns with a wry and revealing portrait of Italian life—by riding its trains.

Tim Parks’s books on Italy have been hailed as "so vivid, so packed with delectable details, [they] serve as a more than decent substitute for the real thing" (Los Angeles Times Book Review). Now, in his first Italian travelogue in a decade, he delivers a charming and funny portrait of Italian ways by riding its trains from Verona to Milan, Rome to Palermo, and right down to the heel of Italy.

Parks begins as any traveler might: "A train is a train is a train, isn’t it?" But soon he turns his novelist’s eye to the details, and as he journeys through majestic Milano Centrale station or on the newest high-speed rail line, he delivers a uniquely insightful portrait of Italy. Through memorable encounters with ordinary Italians—conductors and ticket collectors, priests and prostitutes, scholars and lovers, gypsies and immigrants—Parks captures what makes Italian life distinctive: an obsession with speed but an acceptance of slower, older ways; a blind eye toward brutal architecture amid grand monuments; and an undying love of a good argument and the perfect cappuccino.

Italian Ways also explores how trains helped build Italy and how their development reflects Italians’ sense of themselves from Garibaldi to Mussolini to Berlusconi and beyond. Most of all, Italian Ways is an entertaining attempt to capture the essence of modern Italy. As Parks writes, "To see the country by train is to consider the crux of the essential Italian dilemma: Is Italy part of the modern world, or not?"

6 illustrations




1 available at Main (Downtown)
  • 385.22094 Par, Nonfiction

Publish Date




Format: Book
Author: Parks, Tim
Title: Italian ways : on and off the rails from Milan to Palermo / Tim Parks.
Publisher Date: New York : W.W. Norton & Company, 2013.
Subject: Parks, Tim -- Travel -- Italy. Railroad travel -- Italy. Italy -- Description and travel Italy -- Social life and customs
Isbn: 9780393239324 (hardcover) 0393239322 (hardcover)
Current Holds: 0
System Items Available: 1
System Items Total: 1
Call Number: 385.22094 Par
Oclc: 836748340
Bib Id: 438627

Format: Book
Author: Parks, Tim
Title: Italian ways : on and off the rails from Milan to Palermo / Tim Parks.
Edition: First edition.
Publisher, Date: New York : W.W. Norton & Company, 2013.
Description: xvii, 261 pages : illustrations, maps ; 24 cm
Subjects: Parks, Tim -- Travel -- Italy.
Subjects: Railroad travel -- Italy.
Subjects: Italy -- Description and travel
Subjects: Italy -- Social life and customs
Contents: The train of the living dead -- Verona/Milano -- Milano/Verona -- First class, high speed -- Verona/Milano -- Milano/Firenze -- To the end of the land -- Milano/Roma/Palermo -- Crotone/Taranto/lecce -- Lecce/Otranto.
LCCN: 2013011386
ISBN: 9780393239324 (hardcover)
ISBN: 0393239322 (hardcover)
Requests: 0
Available Copies: 1
Total Copies: 1
Call Number: 385.22094 Par