Program 381: Italy By Train; Italy North and South

Release Date: 10-11-2014


In Italy, the journey is always an adventure. Author Tim Parks helps us appreciate how the Italian rail system works, and why it's more than mere transportation. Plus, a pair of tour guides from opposite parts of Italy highlight the differences you'll notice — and even enjoy — between the north and the south of their country.


  • Tim Parks, author of "Italian Ways: On and Off the Rails from Milan to Palermo"  (Norton)
  • Riccardo Panareo and Aldo Valerio, tour guides based in Italy
  • Gene Openshaw, art and history specialist, and co-author of "Rick Steves' Europe 101"

Related Links

  • Tim Parks wrote the best seller "Italian Neighbours" about his experience settling into Italy, and he's also authored a number of novels. His website includes information about his latest book, "Italian Ways:  On and Off the Rails from Milan to Palermo."
  • Wikipedia lists Tim Parks' bibliography, and works he has translated from Italian to English.
  • The New York Times reviewed Tim Parks' latest book, "Italian Ways."
  • Tim Parks occasionally writes for the New Yorker magazine, and appears in its podcasts.
  • Further advice for coping with the scheduled rail strikes in Italy.
  • A guide to the traditional pizza served in Naples, from the Serious Eats website.
  • SSC Napoli is the big soccer team from Naples.
  • Travel and Leisure describes the Italian Lake District and Sicily.
  • One of the Italian hill towns that caller Ruth in the web extra explored was Torre Alfina.
  • Gene Openshaw co-authors Rick's art and history book, "Europe 101."
  • Gene Openshaw's chart of Renaissance notables in "the Class of 1500."

Program Extras

Pgm 381 extra - A listener in Pennsylvania talks with Rick, Aldo and Riccardo about her trip to 21 Italian hill towns in 21 days, and her desire to return to explore her husband's family origins in the north. (runs 5:45)