South of Somewhere: Wine, Food, and the Soul of Italy (At Table ) (Paperback)
A New York Times Best Wine Book of 2021
A Washington Post Best Wine Book of 2021
Named one of the Best Wine Books of 2021 by Henry Jeffreys, timatkin.com
Fifty years later, Camuto returns to Vico, connecting with family members and a new generation. A lot has changed: the old family restaurant has been razed and the seaside has been developed with hotels and restaurants, including a famous two-Michelin-starred restaurant in a medieval tower now owned by a younger cousin. Though there are more foreign visitors, the essentials of beauty, food, family bonds, and simplicity have not changed. And here Camuto finds hope that this way of life can continue.
Camuto’s fine-grained storytelling in this series of portraits takes us beyond the usual objective views of viniculture nto the elusive and magical world of Italian “South-ness.” While on one level able to create an instructive narrative about Southern Italy’s twenty-first-century wine and cultural renaissance, Camuto’s unswerving eye juxtaposes the good and the bad—immeasurable beauty and persistent blight, anti-mafia forces and corruption, hope for the future and fatalism—in a land that remains an infinite source of fascination and sensory pleasure.
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"Robert V. Camuto, a prolific wine and travel writer . . . gives us a delicious pre-pandemic travelogue through southern Italy in South of Somewhere. . . . He gives us an engaging snapshot of a region chafing at its inferior stature compared with northern Italy."—Dave McIntyre, Washington Post
"Camuto has the true gift of a portrait writer. He tells the stories of these eight southern Italian wine regions through his encounters with winemakers in each region, sometimes just one, sometimes a family, sometimes several individuals. His often-hilarious descriptions and minute observations of people and situations not only brought the people to life, but vividly captured each region, its wine, food, culture, strengths and weaknesses. . . . He's also very funny. His humour is dry, subtle, clever. More than once, I laughed out loud. He is exquisitely observant, writes with brilliant insight; occasionally my eyes prickled with emotion. . . . I spent half the book with my mouth watering: baskets of sweet ripe figs just picked; bright green, biting olive oil from those trees just there; fragrant coffee, creamy mozzarella, juicy tomatoes and fatty spicy salumi. . . . The descriptions of flavours jostle with descriptions of wines that run the gamut from volcanic and mineral to powerfully rich and rustic."—JancisRobinson.com
"There’s an affable tone to this intelligently charming wine book, it's a serious account of winemaking in southern Italy, essays that can best be categorized as 'down to earth,' in every sense. . . . This is not the usual account of visits to grand chateaux, with splendid meals and wines we can't afford, it's the reality of wine, vividly and cheerfully conveyed—good stories, worth a listen. Take it from someone who never says no to a glass of Frappato in Sicily: Bravo!"—Wine Conversation
"The range of Camuto's grape and wine knowledge, along with his love of Italy, make South of Somewhere a worthy work about southern Italian wines, food and soul."—Natalia Nebel, New City Lit
"If you want an insider's understanding of some of the most exciting wine revolutions going on in Italy, this is the book."—Felicity Carter, pix.wine
“Robert Camuto’s South of Somewhere is close to my heart. Each chapter is about experiencing the joy and perseverance of incredible iconic winemakers from Italy’s Mezzogiorno who have preserved lesser-known native grapes through heroic efforts. In this book Robert brilliantly brings them to life. We are so fortunate to bear witness to this living history of Italian wine today.”—Shelley Lindgren, owner-wine director of A16 restaurants
“A delicious, thirst-inspiring romp full of remarkable personalities, their wine-soaked cellars, and one delectable meal after another. Camuto does it tastefully!”—Kermit Lynch, wineconoclast, author, and importer
“Robert Camuto’s multifaceted take on Southern Italy’s many allures is unique and fascinating in that he engages not only the gustatory and oenological pleasures of the region but also its more elusive and near-magical ‘southern-ness.’”—Matthew Gavin Frank, author of Flight of the Diamond Smugglers