Author: G.G. Husak
ISBN: 978-1-4196-8289-6
Publisher: Booksurge Publishing

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One way to learn a language unfamiliar to us is to become immersed in it so that the learning of the language is in the context of its use. While this seems overwhelming at first, eventually learning takes place and the usefulness of the new tongue becomes apparent and comfortable.

Author G.G. Husak and her husband, Al, took an immersion approach to learning and subsequently appreciating the country of Italy. What began as a visit to their daughter who was studying in Italy became an annual two-week trip of exploration and discovery. The Husak’s fascination with Italy grew with each subsequent visit and the details are shared in the pages of Passeggiata: Strolling Through Italy.

As the title suggests, this is a travelogue narrated for armchair enjoyment at the reader’s pace. The author sets the travel stage by describing their initial visit to their daughter in 1993. It was their first travel experience as empty nesters and the beginning of another journey towards one another as they discovered the nature of Italy together. One example is how their initial interest in art expanded over the years to deeper levels of mutual appreciation.

The Husak’s achieved a nice balance between careful pre-trip planning while allowing for flexibility during the travel experience. The couple agreed on the goal of getting to know one country thoroughly through repeat visits rather than experience superficial experiences in different places. A basic Italy travel blueprint emerged that established a dependable travel style for accommodations, meals and transportation. Specific details such as names and contact information is lacking, leaving the reader to fill in the model with their own research and decisions customized for their personal preferences.

The author has organized the book by city visited and also by categories such as art, music, eating Italian, etc. While this is helpful for readers who like to skip around, those who read the chapters sequentially will find some repetition of details or stories. Because the trips described were made in the non-peak tourist season, the perspective and experiences the author describes are less typical than travelers will find during the height of the tourist season. This has both the advantage of providing a more realistic view of Italian life and the disadvantage of not seeing how the experience would be shaded by greater numbers of tourists. However, a traveler in any season will recognize the truth in Husak’s words, “Travel opens doors and windows to all kinds of impressions, renews our knowledge of our history and art, and gives us new perspectives.”

I appreciated the descriptions and reflections of the non-famous sights as much as the more familiar attractions. The descriptions of the hill towns and seacoast villages were particularly interesting to me as the off-the-beaten-path nature of this type of touring requires patience and an attitude of expecting to discover uniqueness. Being able to travel with fewer pre-conceived notions or expectations is one of the benefits the Husak’s seemed to have achieved with their reoccurring visits to Italy. I would have appreciated some photographs included with these descriptions, however. I could picture the famous sites as I followed the narrative but the mental images were more difficult to generate for the lesser known and more obscure attractions.

It is clear that the author has developed a deep appreciation for the people, lifestyle, history and culture of Italy. Her career as a teacher served her well in sharing that love through this travel volume.

 Click Here To Purchase Passeggiata: Strolling Through Italy