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Head Over Heel: Seduced by Southern Italy by Chris Harrison

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Barzini’s challenge

The elderly man from Naples searched clumsily at his feet every time we hit turbulence and yelled ‘Where’s my stick?’ with such nervous alarm that invariably I would find it and hand it to him. A bald head dotted with sun spots and a faulty hearing aid, the passenger beside me had endeared himself from the start of the Rome-bound flight when the roof of our jumbo began leaking. ‘La Madonna!’ he had exclaimed, reaching for his cane and shielding himself from the drops of water by stabbing them as they fell.

Mr Bean re-runs and Hollywood fluff—I preferred the antics of my companion to the official in-flight entertainment. He was endowed with the flamboyance of my Italian teacher, Giacomo, with whom I had spent every spare ...

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