Un Amico Italiano: Eat, Pray, Love in Rome

Un Amico Italiano: Eat, Pray, Love in Rome

4.3 8
by Luca Spaghetti

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"Luca Spaghetti is not only one of my favorite people in the world, but also a natural-born storyteller. . . . This [is a] marvelous book." -Elizabeth Gilbert

When Luca Spaghetti (yes, that's really his name) was asked to show a writer named Elizabeth Gilbert around Rome, he had no idea how his life was about to change. She embraced his Roman ebullience,


"Luca Spaghetti is not only one of my favorite people in the world, but also a natural-born storyteller. . . . This [is a] marvelous book." -Elizabeth Gilbert

When Luca Spaghetti (yes, that's really his name) was asked to show a writer named Elizabeth Gilbert around Rome, he had no idea how his life was about to change. She embraced his Roman ebullience, and Luca in turn became her guardian angel, determined that his city would help Liz out of her funk.

Filled with colorful anecdotes about food, language, soccer, daily life in Rome, and Luca's own fish-out-of-water moments as a visitor to the United States-and culminating with the episodes in Liz's bestselling memoir, told from Luca's side of the table-Un Amico Italiano is a book that no fan of Eat, Pray, Love will want to miss.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Spaghetti (his real name) met Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love, during her momentous journey through Rome in 2003 and sparked a friendship that deeply inspires this personable memoir about being a Roman. Spaghetti grew up in in that city, lived on Via Gregorio VII, and shares some of the peculiar loves and mannerisms of the dyed-in-the-wool Roman, such as an ironical sense of humor, a laid-back style of work ("the beauty of Rome... distracts us from our working"), a penchant for multicourse meat-heavy meals, a fanatical devotion to the S.S. Lazio soccer team (as opposed to their arch-rivals, A.S. Roma), and Sunday family rituals. As a kid, Spaghetti (who was always embarrassed by his name, although his grandmother insisted it would someday bring him luck) was heavily influenced by American music, especially his hero James Taylor, and later fashioned a rock group named John Horse Quartet by translating into English the leader's name, Gianni Cavallo. After graduating from university, Spaghetti made an impressive journey by Amtrak across the American continent, a trip he delineates with youthful enthusiasm. Back in Rome to become a tax accountant, one of the most "hated and feared" professions in Italy, he met Gilbert and introduced her to such quintessential Roman activities as eating pajata (calf intestines) and cursing at soccer matches. His amicable, colloquial narrative can be seen as a nice companion to hers. (May)
Library Journal
In her wildly popular Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert introduces her readers to a Roman friend with the unlikely name Spaghetti. This memoir is his attempt to jump on the fame train. His exuberant account of his relationship with Gilbert is fleshed out with his passions for soccer, food, music, James Taylor, New York City, and Rome. The book begins with a chapter on Spaghetti's surname, a source of childhood teasing and embarrassment, and ends with a useful glossary of Italian/Roman dishes. Gilbert turned out to be more fun than Spaghetti initially imagined, and the two thirtysomethings ended up friends who shared numerous meals, a soccer game, and Spaghetti's Thanksgiving birthday celebration. VERDICT This is all good fun, and Spaghetti comes across as an enthusiastic puppy dog kind of guy. However, this book would likely not have been published without the association with Gilbert's best seller and the film. Still, her fans may create demand for this opportunistic spin-off.—Janet Ross, formerly with Sparks Branch Lib., NV
Kirkus Reviews

A Roman tax accountant befriends a heartbroken American journalist with heartwarming results.

In 2003, when Eat Pray Love author Elizabeth Gilbert nursed a broken heart with a triple-destination journey abroad, her first stop was Rome, where a mutual friend surmised that she and Spaghetti (his real name) would hit it off. Spaghetti's endearing three-part narrative begins with his colorful Italian childhood, wrestling with a surname that begged for mockery and nurturing a love for professional soccer and folk music (James Taylor). He then details time spent immersed in American culture during a "dream" trip to Manhattan and a lengthy but magical cross-country excursion to the California coast by train in 1995. The final section chronicles his "extraordinary" friendship with Gilbert in Rome. An accommodating host, Spaghetti enriched Gilbert's three-month stay by steeping her in Italian culture as they toured Rome "inch by inch" on a scooter. Gilbert's easy smile and big-hearted compassion was returned by Spaghetti, who brought folkloric history, breathtaking scenery and a love of spectator sports and food to the table, especially dramatic descriptions (recipes and glossary included) of traditional "fettuccine al ragu" and 190-proof homemade limoncello, which could "cut your legs off at the knees after your second tiny glassful." Part memoir, part informative guidebook, Spaghetti's anecdotes are plentiful and immensely entertaining. He shares his "personal pasta ranking system," in which "rebellious" bucatini earns first place but proves a "natural sauce catapult," notes the ever-present "mocking, humorous tone" of the typical Roman personality and demonstrates an uncanny ability to present classic Italian landmarks and histories with the charm and passion of a seasoned tour guide. The author's literary voice is undeniably warm and welcoming as both friends engaged in a cross-cultural exchange—a "different kind of love" that has been fondly immortalized in Gilbert's bestselling book.

An enticing entrée of sweet amity and savory memories.

Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 7.70(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Luca Spaghetti was born and lives in Rome. He loves Roman cooking, American music, and the Lazio soccer team. This is his first book.

Antony Shugaar is a writer and translator. Among his recent translations is Sandokan by Nanni Balestrini, for which he was awarded a 2007 NEA translation fellowship.

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Un Amico Italiano: Eat, Pray, Love in Rome 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wow! I really like your fanfic! :D
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You 'hope' it's good? Da<_>mn, this is fabulous!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
[ Set sometime during WWII. I'm sorry if I get OOC (Out Of Character); it's my first Hetalia Fanfic. ] <p> You blinked your (e/c) eyes against the driving Northern winds, your (h/l), (h/c) hair whipping across your brow. Every step sent a sharp spike of pain through your leg, making you lean heavily against your gun. <p> You had been wandering for at least an hour now, shot in the leg and knocked unconscious; left behind by your troop; and now behind enemy lines. <p> You searched in vain for signs of human life. Even the enemy would have been good right now! <p> With a resigned sign, you limped into an abandoned village, cobblestone littering the pock-marked streets. The broken windows of dark buildings glared eerily at you, only dampening your already-rock-bottom spirits. <p> Your boot caught on a piece of rubble, making you stumble. A fresh wave of agony lanced up your injured leg, almost forcing you to unconsciousness. <p> You gritted your teeth and stumbled into a half-decent looking house. You bareky made it to the splintered, dusty table before you fell forward, your gun falling from your grasp. Pain racked your muscles before darkness claimed you. <p> ~~~ <p> You jolted awake to the sound of a chittery voice. Groggily, you rubbed the powdery mortar from your (e/c) eyes and scrambled into a sitting position. <p> Your head pounded in protest at the sudden movements, but you forced yourself to grab your gun from where it lay. <p> Silently as possible, you readied the gun, holding it to your chest defensively. <p> A light-brown haired man became visible, and he appeared to be talking to a small, fluffy gray cat which pranced at his side, mrrowing as he spoke. <p> Your mouth twisted in a half-smile but you hid it, shouting hoarsely at the man, your (Your Nationality) accent tainting your words. "Hold it!" <p> The man whipped around, nearly leaping three feet in the air; the cat took off at the sudden noise. Now that the man faced you, you could see a strange hair curling from side of his head. <p> The sight almost made you laugh, but you held it down. Putting on a fierce scowl, you pointed your gun at his chest. "Who are you?" <p> Instantly, the man started bawling, mumbling nonsense that sounded vaguelu Italian. Italian meant an enemy. . . <p> ~ NRM [ Tada. Hope it's good. ^-^ ]
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this and i thought it was ok,but i would have expected more from a book that was talking on his side of the experience.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago