Cover image for Pietro's book : the story of a Tuscan peasant
Pietro's book : the story of a Tuscan peasant
Pinti, Pietro, 1927-
Personal Author:
First North American edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Arcade Pub. : Distributed by Time Warner Book Group, 2004.

Physical Description:
vii, 184 pages : illustrations, maps ; 21 cm
General Note:
Originally published: Great Britain: Constable, 2003.
Personal Subject:
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
DG738.79.P56 A3 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
DG738.79.P56 A3 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



From the sam magical landscape that gave birth to Frances Mayes' best-selling "Under the Tuscan Sun" comes this touching, down-to-earth, humorous story of a native son.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

This small, cherishable book is as close to living history as one gets. Pinti was the youngest of 12 children, born in 1927 to a family in the Arno valley of Tuscany. He and his family were mezzadri, sharecroppers, who worked their lands but gave half to the landowner. As he tells his story to Bawtree, an English professor who has lived in Tuscany for many years and who now employs Pinti, rich anecdotes emerge of peasant life, local customs and practices, and the intrusion of landlords, politics, Fascism, and war. The heart of the book, though, is Pinti's month-by-month description of how it was to live: from chestnut wood ladders in January, made without nails in the coldest month, to pruning, sowing, and hoeing in April; from grape and chestnut harvests in September to olive-oil pressing in December. The labor was endless and backbreaking, but the stories are full of humanity and sly wisdom. We worked hard, it is true, but we sang as we worked. Nobody sings any more now. --GraceAnne DeCandido Copyright 2004 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

The Tuscan countryside has inspired and been celebrated by many famous writers and artists, but here it is explored ?not by a foreign intellectual but by a Tuscan peasant?; as such, readers are given a real and honest view of the region and life in it. Written in refreshingly simple language (made smooth by Bawtree, a former teacher who now runs a riding academy), the volume provides a glimpse into Pinti?s life, from his birth in 1927 (he was mother?s 12th child) through his schooling during the Fascist regime and World War II. He describes his life working as a contadino (farmer of low social status)?complete with pleasing anecdotes of days of celebration and feasting; from there he explains post-war Tuscan peasant life, which he left in order to earn pay as a ?builder?s mate.? Black and white photos, maps and illustrations, plus a glossary of Italian terms (such as casa colonica, a sharecropper?s house) that were relevant to the life of a peasant render a more thorough understanding of a compelling life that is neither glamorous nor romanticized. (June) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Library Journal Review

Most visitors to Tuscany see little more than its incredible beauty and old-world charm. Here, Pinti offers something more-a glimpse into what it was like growing up in the Tuscan countryside of the tumultuous 1930s and 1940s. His slim volume takes readers back to a time when children had no toys, electricity was unavailable, and a powerful figure known as the padrone controlled peasants' lives. And, indeed, they were peasants in every sense of the word: the padrone owned the land they worked and doled out benefits only to those whose farming was successful. Especially interesting is Pinti's description of the compromises made during the reign of Mussolini-in order to send his children to school, Pietro's father had to join the Fascist Party. Chock-full of insight into Tuscan life both past and present, this book is recommended to anyone who wants to move beyond the tourist attractions and come to understand a very special part of Italy.-Joseph L. Carlson, Allan Hancock Coll., Lompoc, CA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.