Islands of Italy

Barbara Grizzuti Harrison, Author, Sheila Nardulli, Photographer, Shelia Nardulli, Photographer Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) $40 (152p) ISBN 978-0-395-59302-8
In memory of her Italian immigrant grandparents and ``because the islands are so beautifully there,'' as she notes in the introduction, Harrison ( Italian Days ) visited Sicily, Sardinia and the Aeolian islands in 1990 with freelance travel photographer Nardulli. Their collaboration yields an intriguing, personal view of such fabled spots as Sicily's Taormina, with views of Mt. Etna, and the ``voluptuous'' Palermo, its architecture variously Roman, Spanish, Byzantine, Norman and Moorish. A cruise through the Aeolian islands includes a stop at the mud baths of Vulcano and a running narrative on relationships among others on board. Unenchanted with Sardinia's picture-perfect Costa Smeralda, a development for the very wealthy described as ``troppo fantasia'' by a local pub owner, Harrison nevertheless delights in its beauty--natural and cultivated--and in the ``best lunch I ever had,'' an extravagant repast lovingly described. While pictures and commentary focus most on the islands' inhabitants, Harrison also notes that Sardinia is ``older geologically than Italy or Sicily'' and offers travel-guide facts (it was on steps of Palermo's Teatro Massimo that Michael Corleone's daughter died). Brief quotes from the work of Giuseppe di Lampedusa, Italo Calvino and Danilo Dolci enhance this affectionate tribute. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/30/1991
Release date: 10/01/1991
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