Mezza Italiana

love, family, la dolce vita & finding your place in the world…

Growing up in Brisbane in the 1970s and 80s, Zoë Boccabella knew if you wanted to fit in, you did not bottle tomatoes, have plastic on the hallway carpet or a glory box of Italian linens. Though she tried to be like ‘everyone else’, refusing to learn Italian and even dyeing her dark hair blonde, Zoë couldn’t shake the unsettling sense of feeling ‘half-and-half’ – half Australian, mezza italiana – unable to fit fully into either culture, or merge the two.

Years later, she travels to her family′s ancestral village of Fossa in Abruzzo and discovers a place that is the stuff of fairytales – medieval castles, dark forests, serpent charmers and witches. As Zoë stays in the house that has belonged to her family for centuries, the village casts its spell. She begins to realise the preciousness of her heritage and the stories, handed-down recipes and traditions of her extended Italian family become a treasured part of her life.
Then the earthquake hits…

Beautifully written, sprinkled with recipes and laced with love, Mezza Italiana, is a heart-warming journey into the soul of Italy, and into a family you’ll never forget.


Available in paperback, e-book and audio book.

Check for prices and availability…  ABC BooksBolinda Audio BooksHarperCollins

Praise for Mezza Italiana…

“Wonderful descriptions of relatives and other villagers, the countryside and the food… This is a beautifully written memoir full of characters and places, which will appeal to the literary traveller, to people who already love Italy and to all those intending to visit.”
Chris Harrington, Bookseller+Publisher

“This is a memoir with a difference. Zoë Boccabella’s story of her slow then passionate embrace of her Italian roots culminates in a dramatic event that brings into focus her entire family history. She’s a charming and thoughtful writer with a vibrant story to tell.”
Frances Mayes, author of Under the Tuscan Sun

“I loved this book! Zoë Boccabella has a vastly different story to the foreigner who falls in love with Italy. She has Italian blood running through her veins as the granddaughter of Italians who immigrated from Abruzzo… There is much to love about this book. The wonderful characters, her fabulous Italian grandfather who takes his love for all Italian traditions to Brisbane and cherishes them till he dies. Her boyfriend who becomes the poster boy for all things Italian and the people of Fossa, a village tucked away in the mountains of Abruzzo. I can highly recommend Mezza Italiana.”
Carla Coulson, author of Italian Joy

“This is a delightful book that is part travel story, part a very personal narrative of self-discovery, that the author Zoe Boccabella (beautiful mouth in Italian) shares with us… It has everything – romance, drama, pathos and tragedy as well as many humorous anecdotes. A lovely tale that I can warmly recommend.”
Karen Brooks, author and academic (full review)

          Life in Abruzzo review           Babble & Books Review           Goodreads Reviews
Bleeding Espresso review           Amazon reviews       

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