Dances with Luigi

A Grandson's Determined Quest to Comprehend Italy and the Italians

Paul Paolicelli

Thomas Dunne Books

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In this spirited memoir, veteran TV journalist Paul Paolicelli does what many of us can only dream of--he picks up and moves to a foreign country in an attempt to trace his ancestral roots. With the help of Luigi, his guide and companion, he travels through Italy--Rome, Gamberale, Matera, Miglionico, Alessandria, even Mussolini's hometown of Predappio--and discovers the tragic legacy of the Second World War that is still affecting the Old Country. He visits ancient castles and village churches, samples superb Italian cuisine, haggles at the open air market at Porta Portese, enjoys and Alessandria siesta, and frequents "coffee bars", where beggars discuss politics with affluent Italian locals. He finds lost-lost cousins during the day and performs with an amateur jazz group during the night. Along the way, he discovers deeply moving stories about his family's past and learns answers to question that have plagued him since childhood.
More that just a spiritual account of one man's ancestral search, Dances With Luigi is also a stunning portrait of la bella Italia--both old and new--that is painted beautifully in all of its glamour, history, and contradiction.

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Book Excerpts

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1Rome . . .
The Immersion
Luigi and I were neighbors. We had met after I responded to a notice posted in the window of the guard’s shack for our huge apartment complex. The note asked for English speakers to contact “Laura” for English practice.
I needed a translator-interpretor to help me with my papers and an appointment with the Italian State Department. I called the number.
Laura spoke flawless idiomatic English—thanks to her Yankee mom—and said she’d be very interested in helping me; she was studying journalism at Rome’s university, La

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Reviews

Praise for Dances with Luigi

"[A] touching memoir...The reader becomes a passenger on a sensual trip through the Italian countryside as Paolicelli vividly describes each person he meets and each food he tastes."
--Chicago Tribune

"[Paolicelli's] writing has a headlong, heartfelt quality, the energy of someone who has searched to find words for what he feels so deeply. His narrative is made more compelling by his skillfull interpolation of local history and story. The coda, where he finds the words--in Italian--to share his feelings with his father and where he names his new daughter, Cara, is almost unbearably moving." --Booklist

"Paolicelli has written a beautiful story....A natural-born storyteller, Paolicelli immediately grabs the reader's attention...Vivid descriptions of the Italian countryside and its people carry the reader along on this three-year journey of self-discovery... A compelling and moving memoir, this tale is remembered long after it has been read." --Library Journal

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About the Author

Paul Paolicelli

Paul Paolicelli is an award-winning television journalist and documentary producer. In his more than twenty-five years as a news reporter, producer, and executive, he has worked throughout the United States and Europe at local and national TV outlets. He is currently at work on his second book.

Paul E. Paolicelli

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Available Formats and Book Details

Dances with Luigi
A Grandson's Determined Quest to Comprehend Italy and the Italians
Paul Paolicelli

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
St. Martin's Press
Thomas Dunne Books
April 2000
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9780312273804
ISBN10: 0312273800
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 320 pages
$7.99

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
St. Martin's Press
St. Martin's Griffin
November 2001
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9780312283803
ISBN10: 0312283806
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 320 pages
$19.99
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Thomas Dunne Books

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