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Dear Alfonso
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ISBN:
9781780274805
Categories
Food & Drink, Local History, New Releases
Imprint
Birlinn
Publication Date
07 September 2017
Format
Hardback
Status
Available for Sale
Publisher
Birlinn Ltd
Extent
288
Illustrations
b/w integrated throughout; 8pp colour plates

Dear Alfonso

An Italian Feast of Love and Laughter
by Mary Contini - Find out more about the author

 

eBook also available from the iBookstore

‘This is how I was born. At 7.30 a.m. at the Istituto Annunziata in Napoli on 1 May 1925…’

So begins a manuscript, handwritten by Carlo Contini, which lay forgotten and unread for years. The scrawling script unfolds an incredible tale of poverty, adventure and survival which Carlo had not shared with his family during his life time, but left as a moving and extraordinary legacy for them.

Inspired by this document, Carlo’s daughter-in-law, Mary Contini, relates in her inimitable style the story of Carlo’s life from wartime Pozzuoli, near Naples, and Genoa, and eventually to Edinburgh, where he arrived in 1952 on a three-month visa to learn English. Here his life was to change forever when he met Olivia Crolla and married into her family business, the delicatessen Valvona & Crolla. His experiences and background were a key part of the development of that fledgling business.

Heart-warming, moving and filled with laughter and love, Dear Alfonso is a wonderful celebration of food, family and friendship.

Mary Contini is the bestselling author of numerous books about Italian life and cooking, including Dear Francesca, Dear Olivia, Valvona & Crolla: A Year at an Italian Table and The Italian Sausage Bible. She also co-wrote the acclaimed Easy Peasy children’s cookery books with Pru Irvine and has appeared on numerous radio and TV programmes, as well as at literary festivals throughout the UK. She is a Director of Valvona & Crolla, the renowned Edinburgh delicatessen, restaurant and wine merchant.

A second generation Italian, Mary grew up in Cockenzie, East Lothian, third oldest of a family of eight. She has been recognised by the Italian Government with the award of Cavaliere for services to Italy.