A short while ago I was lucky enough to visit Italy’s spectacular Amalfi Coast, a region that was
surely plucked from heaven. Who could resist the sensuous charms of that sunny clime?
The very air you breathe there is fragrant with thyme and rosemary. Soils are rich with volcanic ash. Wherever people have space to cultivate, orchards burst with a bounty of lemon, fig, peach and olive. Capers grow wild along the roadside, and of course—this is Italy—vines flourish in every backyard nook and cranny.
And the beauty. The towering cliffs, those glorious breath- taking views, the charming and extraordinary villages tumbling down cliff-faces to the Bay of Naples… Positano, Sorrento, Capri…Those images will remain inscribed on my heart for all time.
And all of this exists under the brooding shadow of Vesuvius.
The thing is, I’m a bit of a current affairs and politics buff. The first thing I do every morning after I read my mail is to click to the Sydney Morning Herald and read the news of the world. So, at the time I was visiting that romantic realm, I was very much aware that while beauty and goodness and simplicity shine from everything you see, underneath, just like everywhere else in the world, scandal, lust and corruption stalk.
The Italian Next Door… is a little different from my other creations. Sure, it’s flirty and romantic. And yep, the tale is a frothy one, I hope. Sssexy and light. So light the book might float away if you don’t pin it down.
But take care not to look too closely, or underneath you might find a darkness threatening that heavenly sunshine. Like smoky old Vesuvius.
Just one question. Remembering Pompeii, would you buy a house there?