Diano San Pietro Travel Guide

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Diano San Pietro was made famous by Annie Hawes, the author who, in 1986, decided to buy a small, tumbledown 'rustico' and live amid the olive groves of northern Italy.

Her first book 'Extra Virgin' told how she and her sister first went to the area to work in rose nursery, saw the rustico but never for one moment dreamed they could afford the house and land which it comprised.  When told the whole lot could be theirs for less than two months wages, they struck a deal.

How Annie comes to terms with this rural life makes great reading but tells the reader a lot about Diano San Peitro (at least the 1986 version, much has changed since then) and its inhabitants. The wheeler-dealer Franco, ever-helpful Dominico and the local language they speak, very different from Italian, are brought to life, as is Diano San Pietro itself.  The valley is 'discovered' by Germans and rich Italians who buy up the land to use as occasional vacation homes, leaving the locals in a quandary: do they pick the olives in the now unused groves? It would be a criminal waste to let them rot on the trees but, on the other hand, this is no longer their property...

Annie's second book, 'Ripe for the Picking' continues the story of the way the village and the locals change with the times but contains a wealth of information about good restaurants and places to see (or avoid).

 

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