Program 381a: Italy by Train; Italy: North Versus South

Release Date: 01-28-2017


British author Tim Parks explains why the Italian rail system, which he depends on daily, means more to him than a mere means of transportation. Then a pair of tour guides from opposite ends of Italy highlight the regional differences that make travel in Italy such an enjoyable study in contrasts.


  • 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 La Marche and Sicily, 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 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' book, "Italian Ways."
  • Advice for coping with the scheduled rail strikes in Italy.
  • Padre Pio, a Capuchin priest from the mid 20th century, is considered by some as a patron saint for Italian adolescents and civil defense workers.
  • A guide to the traditional pizza served in Naples, from the Serious Eats website.
  • SSC Napoli is the big soccer team from Naples.
  • 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."
  • Martin Luther was studying in Erfurt, Germany in the year 1500.
  • Gene Openshaw has made a chart of Renaissance notables he calls "the Class of 1500."

Program Extras

More with Aldo and Riccardo - 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)