John & Nancy Petralia


Nancy Petralia grew up in Pittsburgh, PA and will forever be a Steelers fan. Always moving eastward, she lived in Harrisburg then Philadelphia where she met husband John. Born on Broad Street not far from where the Phillies, Eagles, Flyers and Sixers ply their trades, a graduate of three local schools (Bishop Neumann High, the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science, and Temple University), it's hard to imagine anyone being more Philadelphian than John.

He taught her about good olives, opera, tennis and Italian cooking. She taught him about Irish stew and having a dog. Together they started a book club that's met every month for nearly 20 years.

They retired to the Jersey shore where Nancy improved her backhand and discovered a talent for ceramic sculpture. John started a science program at a nearby community center. They took Italian lessons. And they dreamed...of living in Italy. When they decided to make that dream a reality it was the start of the best year of their lives--and a story they wanted to share.

Nancy and John recently relocated to Fort Myers, Florida, a city they hope to love as much as Parma, Italy.

Smashwords Interview

Which topics do you enjoy writing about most and why?
We enjoy commenting on life around us. Living abroad, your perspective is quite different. You can’t help comparing the foreign place to what you know in America. And the insights it gives you--about culture, family, relationships, and yourself--are things we like to share.
What inspired you to write Not in a Tuscan Villa?
We figured out how to have our dream of living in Italy for a year, as ordinary citizens. When we came home, the experience had so changed the way we wanted to experience the rest of our lives that we wanted to share it. We NEEDED to share it.
Read more of this interview.

Where to find John & Nancy Petralia online

Where to buy in print


Not in a Tuscan Villa
Price: $7.99 USD. Words: 98,650. Language: English. Published: December 16, 2013. Categories: Nonfiction » Travel » By region, Nonfiction » Travel » Essays & Travelogues
Newly retired, looking for more than a vacation, the authors head to the “perfect” Italian city for a year. Within days their dream becomes a nightmare. After residing in two Italian cities, negotiating roads & health care, discovering art, friends, food & customs, the Petralias learn more than they anticipated--about Italy, themselves, what it means to be American, & what’s important in life.

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