Extra Virgin

Extra Virgin

Large Print - 2002
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When Annie Hawes buys a hillside cottage in Italy for no more than the price of a dodgy second-hand car, a capable young Englishwoman becomes a surprisingly incapable Ligurian signorina...In the area by chance, Annie and her sister fall in love with the area. Their new neighbours are baffled - how have these Foreign Females survived? Don't they have any idea how to get their year's supply of olive oil from a couple of dozen olive trees, or good wine from bramble-choked vines?
Publisher: Bath, England : Chivers Press, 2002.
Edition: Large print ed.
ISBN: 9780754017448
Branch Call Number: LP HAWE
Characteristics: 472 p. (large print) : ill ; 24 cm.


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Jan 02, 2012

“Extra Virgin” is the delightful story of two English Sisters who, in 1983, buy a “Rustico”, essentially not much more than a farmer’s shed, on the olive terraces of Liguria on the Italian Riveria between Nice and Genoa. They convert the Rustico into comfortable living quarters where they live over the years, with short intermittent money-earning returns to England, gradually becoming integrated into the traditional rural society.

The casual, evocative, often humorous prose describes Annie and her sister’s adventures as they learn about, and adapt to, the society, barely changed in centuries, in which they now find themselves. The descriptions of the quirky peasant olive-farmers and their ways are entertaining. The latter part of the book describes the changes that occur in the 1990s as Italy joins the European Market and the previously depressed olive market rebounds, bringing technological modernization, prosperity and changing cultural ways.

Unlike Frances Mayes’s books about Tuscany, this book is strictly about rural peasant life. The emphasis is on the individual people, traditional culture and life-style and the food. It is not about sophisticated society or high art.

I recommend this delightful and entertaining book.

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