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30 minutes
First broadcast:
Saturday 01 October 2011

John McCarthy gets a flavour of rural Italy and its food in conversation with writer Tracey Lawson who investigated the surprising longevity of an Italian village's residents by going to live there and learning all about their diet; their great life expectancy is due in no small part to simple food freshly prepared and she shares some of the secrets with John. They are joined by author Julia Blackburn whose own experiences of living in an Italian village led her to collect the memories and stories of the older inhabitants. And the writer and columnist Vitali Vitaliev tells why, originally from the Ukraine, he loves Italy so much and how he ate a great many good Italian meals in the apparently futile search for a bad one.

Producer : Harry Parker.

  • Tracey Lawson

    is a journalist and language teacher. In her first book, ‘A Year in the Village of Eternity’, Tracey describes the changing seasons in Campodimele an Italian village where she now lives much of the time, where it seems people live for much longer than elsewhere in Europe.

    A Year in the Village of Eternity
    Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
    ISBN-10: 0747590362
    ISBN-13: 978-0747590361

  • Julia Blackburn

    is an author. In her latest book ‘Thin Paths’ Julia recounts stories from the mountain village in northern Italy where she spends much of her year. Julia spoke to many of the residents, including the elderly and collecting their memories of a very different life under the semi-feudal system which existed before WW2.

    Thin Paths: Journeys in and around an Italian Mountain Village
    Publisher: Jonathan Cape
    ISBN-10: 0224090682
    ISBN-13: 978-0224090681

    Find out more about Julia Blackburn
  • Vitali Vitaliev

    is a writer and columnist. He has been visiting Italy for many years and is currently in search of a ‘bad Italian meal’. His endeavour has so far been fairly unsuccessful and Vitali has now eaten his way through many good meals. Vitali is also taking part in new approach to publishing. ‘Unbound’ allows author to pitch their book ideas straight to readers.

    Find out more about Vitali Vitaliev



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