Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT #memoir Living In Italy by Stef Smulders by @italie_verhalen

Today’s team review is from Alison, she blogs here http://alisonwilliamswriting.wordpress.com/

#RBRT Review Team

Alison has been reading Living In Italy by Stef Smulders

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I have long harboured a dream to move to France, though Brexit may well scupper that. Italy or Portugal are next on the list, even though my own experience of driving in Italy was utterly terrifying (they literally have no rules – at least not any that anyone follows). So I was very interested to read the story of a couple relocating to Italy, especially as they bought a house that needed renovation and which has now been turned into a holiday rental (I am so tempted to book!).

Well, I now know that I will have to buy something that needs no work at all – I know I couldn’t bear the stress and upheaval that Stef and Nico went through. If you thought stories about unscrupulous tradesmen, a lackadaisical attitude to working times and deadlines, and a system where everything is done through a friend of a friend were exaggerated, then you should read this book. Everything you think and fear is true.

Stef and Nico come across as endlessly patient, hugely pragmatic and very nice indeed! The stories included here are so interesting and so funny at times. The portrayals of neighbours and friends, tradesman, agents and architects are delivered with a wry humour and a real eye for the little details that sum someone up in a few words or actions.

The only let down for me was that the translation isn’t great, which sometimes made things a bit hard-going. That isn’t really the fault of the author, but it does mean a lower rating than I would have given otherwise. If you can overlook that, and read it with an open-mind, then you’ll really enjoy it.

Three and a half out of five stars.

Book description

Would you dare to follow your dream and move or retire to Italy?

Stef & Nico did, although their dog Sara had her doubts. Now from your comfortable armchair you can share in the hilarious & horrendous adventures they experienced when they moved to Italy to start a bed and breakfast.

 

For lovers of amusing travelogue memoirs who like a good laugh. And for those interested in practical advice on how to buy a house in Italy there is useful information along the way, pleasantly presented within the short stories.

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Stef Smulders

Dutchman who moved to Italy in 2008 to live the good life with his husband and dog, welcoming guests in their Villa I Due Padroni B&B in the beautiful wine region Oltrepò Pavese, south of Milan.

Author of the Award winning book “Living in Italy: the Real Deal” with hilarious expat adventures.

Goodreads | AmazonUK | AmazonUS

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Sunday Connection – Books We’ve Reviewed This Week, Plus Links To The Blogosphere #SundayBlogShare

On This Week’s Sunday Connection:

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Monday – I reviewed WW2 Histfic The Secrets Between Us by Laura Madeleine

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Tuesday Noelle reviewed Histfic The Likeness by Bill Kirton

Wednesday – Judith reviewed family memoir Castles In The Air by Allison Cubitt

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Thursday – I reviewed romance Break The Line by Allison Mullinax

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Friday – Shelley reviewed action thriller Savage Isle by Beverley Scherberger

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And I reviewed Romcom The Single Girl’s Calendar by Erin Green

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Saturday – Jenny R reviewed travel autobiography Living In Italy by Stef Smulders

Discussion post

Are you A Butterfly Reader?

Plus Links To The Blogosphere:

A look at Hybrid -publishers

https://storyempire.com/2018/03/07/throwing-darts-blindfolded-author-considerations/

Tips for character names

http://annerallen.com/2018/03/9-tips-character-names/

Indie friendly book reviewers

http://triskelebooks.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/indie-friendly-book-reviewers.html

 

Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT #TrueLife Living In Italy by Stef Smulders @italie_verhalen

Today’s team review is from Jenny R

#RBRT Review Team

Jenny has been reading Living In Italy: The Real Deal by Stef Smulders

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 3 Stars

I have often had fancy thoughts of buying a nice little B&B in Italy. I have travelled there before on a road trip and found it such a beautiful, stunning and friendly place. So when I saw the title of this book, it grabbed my attention straight away.

It is a good read and one that I would recommend if you were thinking of taking up a project such as this one. I like the way that the author takes us through the stresses and frustrations of the bureaucratic red tape and the fun that he and his partner Nico experienced.

We often hear or read about dodgy, lazy builders that like to slack off and never seem to get renovations finished either on time or within budget. This certainly proves those points. The builder, Torti and his workers are an absolute nightmare and how on earth the owners managed to put up with them till the end of the project is beyond me. You can see how Italian builders get such a bad reputation.

The description of the Oltrepo region has been written with feeling. I almost felt as though I was driving through the Italian countryside.

At first I was not sure about the way Stef (the author) included Italian words into the dialog, but after a while it began to make more sense and I could see what he was trying to achieve. By the end of the book I found my self thinking that these Italian words would be helpful to those readers that are thinking of going to Italy.

This is an easy and relaxing read. It made me curious to see the final result, so I took a sneaky peak at the B&B website. Maybe I will take another Italian trip and book my stay with Stef and Nico.

Book description

Would you dare to follow your dream and move or retire to Italy? Stef & Nico did, although their dog Sara had her doubts. Now from your comfortable armchair you can share in the hilarious & horrendous adventures they experienced when they moved to Italy to start a bed and breakfast.

For lovers of amusing travelogue memoirs who like a good laugh. And for those interested in practical advice on how to buy a house in Italy there is useful information along the way, pleasantly presented within the short stories.

Glossary of Italian words included! Learn the true meaning of Italian phrases and expressions like “non ci sono problemi”, “di fiducia”, “persone serie”, “tutto a norma” and many more. Learn a bit of the foreign language before going to Italy.

Stef Smulders

Dutchman who moved to Italy in 2008 to live the good life wih husband and dog, welcoming guests in their Villa I Due Padroni B&B in the beautiful wine region Oltrepò Pavese, south of Milan.

Author of the Award winning book “Living in Italy: the Real Deal” with hilarious expat adventures.

Goodreads | AmazonUK | AmazonUS