Passeggiata: Strolling Through Italy
by G. G. Husak


Book Surge Publishing, 2008. ISBN 978-1-419-68289-6.
Reviewed by Penny Appleby
Posted on 11/05/2008

Nonfiction: Memoir; Nonfiction: Travel/Adventure

This book is for you, whether you've been to Italy or not. If you have, the memories that it evokes will have you wishing you were back there. If you haven't made the trip yet, it will make you want to go. This is not the book you read to get all the logistical information you need; this is the book you read to inspire your soul and make you a better traveler—anywhere.

G. G. Husak and her husband first went to Italy in 1993 to visit their oldest daughter, who was spending her junior semester in college there. That was all it took. Year after year they went back, and in this story, Husak takes us with her. She convinces us that it is true when she says they continue to go because they like it and never get bored.

In Italian passeggiata refers to a stroll—a walk for its own sake. The Husaks' stroll through Italy allows them to become familiar with a people and their country. They immerse themselves in the lifestyle in order to be as Italian as they can. Husak says: "As individuals we join in the flow of humanity through time, interested not in making our mark or changing others, but in being existentially present."

Of course, they see all the familiar tourist sights—Rome, Florence and Venice. But they also follow their own paths to find out-of-the-way places and unexpected delights. They have many of the typical problems of those who don't speak the local language and are not familiar with all the local customs and procedures—especially when it comes to busses and trains. But rather than being frustrated and upset by these occurrences, they use them as a way to become more flexible in adapting to the "now."

In many ways, this book is a memoir of place and how that place can have a significant impact upon you—if you are willing to allow it to happen.


Glen Grymes Husak and her husband, Al, live in Houston, TX. Visit her web site.

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