Recent years have seen a virtual flood of books about Tuscany--first-person accounts about Americans trying to do American things in Italy and bumping up against a centuries-old stone wall of tradition. It's only fair that we now hear a native Tuscan's side of the story. Who better to provide that view than Dario Castagno, a British-born, Tuscan-raised tour guide who has spent more than a decade leading Americans into the heart of Tuscany's Chianti region. In this lively, candid memoir, Dario looks at the Americans who have stormed through his life and his homeland. Some tested his sanity, others became lifelong friends.
With wry humor and affection, Dario recalls some of his more remarkable clients--the delightful, the vain, the silly, the ignorant, the ambitious, the amorous, the condescending, the lovely, and the outright crazy. He also shares an account of his own life and times--his transformation from bohemian layabout to thriving tour guide--and offers an enchanting introduction to the charms of Tuscany over the course of a year.
Through his company, Chianti Rooster Tours, Dario Castagno guides small groups of visitors to his favorite spots in the Chianti region of Italy. He belongs to Siena's Caterpillar contrada, which in 2003 won the Palio--the wildly popular bareback horse race that takes place in Siena each summer.
About the Author
Dario Castagno was born in England to Italian parents and moved with his family to Tuscany when he was ten. Through his company, Chianti Rooster Tours, he has guided small groups of visitors--mostly Americans--to his favorite spots in the Chianti region for more than ten years. This is his first book. Perhaps his proudest accomplishment, however, is claiming membership in Siena's Caterpillar contrada, which won the Palio in 2003.