First published in 1915, Old Calabria recounts Norman Douglas’ journey through the southernmost part of Italy, the least visited part of the country, around the turn of the last century. Blending history and religion with life, culture, language, food and wine, Douglas proves his literary quality through clear observations and elegant depictions.
Reflection from the end of the book:
Calabria is not a land to traverse alone. It is too wistful and stricken; too deficient in those externals that conduce to comfort. Its charms do not appeal to the eye of romance, and the man who would perambulate Magna Gracecia as he does the Alps would soon regret his choice. One needs something of that ‘human element’ which delighted the genteel photographer of Morano – comrades, in short; if only those sages, like old Nola Molisi who have fallen under the spell of its ancient glories. The joys of Calabria are not to be bought, like these of Switzerland, for gold.
Having turned older travel literature into trade paperback editions, Palgrave MacMillan now offers a series of re-issued travel classics.