BOOK REVIEW: “Pit Stops, Pitfalls and Olive Pits: A literary license to enjoy driving escapades throughout scenic Italy” by John Tabellione

Title: Pit Stops, Pitfalls and Olive Pits: A literary license to enjoy driving escapades throughout scenic Italy
Author: John Tabellione
Publication: December 8, 2015
Publisher: Gemelli Press
Genre: Non-Fiction, Travel
Pages: 130

Pit Stops


SYNOPSIS: (From Goodreads)

Have you always wondered what it would be like to brave Italy’s autostrada, steer the Amalfi Coast’s twists and turns, or carefully maneuver a medieval village’s streets, narrow as a strand of fettuccine? Have you already done it and want to commiserate? Or would you simply love some tips and advice for an upcoming trip on which you will be driving in Italy?

No matter your Italian driving experience level, Pit Stops, Pitfalls, and Olive Pits puts you in the passenger seat next to John Tabellione, a writer who has logged thousands of kilometers in Italy from Bologna to Palermo. With insight, candor, and a good dose of humor, Tabellione shares his experiences from navigating the car rental process and facing tour buses head-on to conquering Italian toll booths and filling up the tank on Sundays. You’ll enjoy stops in major tourist destinations like Rome and Florence and also get a flavor of lesser known areas, including Abruzzo and Calabria. Tabellione’s long-lost Italian relatives even make a cameo via a storybook family reunion.

Simply put, Pit Stops is your literary license to enjoy driving escapades throughout scenic Italy, so let’s get this thing in gear and get moving!


**A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.**

I love Italy. Italian food, Italian culture, Italian wine, Italian coffee, you name it. If Italy is in the title, I love it. I have traveled to Italy 3 times and cannot wait to take my children there when they get older. If I could live there, I would. My love for Italy is what made me request and read this book. However, it wasn’t at all what I was expecting.

The author breaks this book into two parts: Travels with Friends and Travels with Family. He hits on the highlights of his trip. He writes about reunions with family while traveling with both his friends and his son. The first part of the book is about the Southern half of Italy where he travels with his friends and his wife. The second half is about the Northern half of Italy where he travels with his son, who speaks Italian, and once again his wife. Throughout the book, he shares his “Pit Tips”. These are things that he has found important to remember and he imparts that knowledge onto you the reader.

I was very disappointed with this book. I was expecting to find an honest to goodness book about traveling through Italy, instead, I encountered an 83-page pamphlet. While his writing is very descriptive the shortness of the chapters leaves something to be desired. Each chapter is usually only a few pages long and then with the Pit Tips tacked onto the end. At the end of the book is a section on hotels and restaurants, which is very thorough but it does make the book even shorter because that is included in the total length. He really could have gone into a lot more detail about each of the places that he stopped. It just felt rushed. Don’t get me wrong, the book was good just very short. I am giving it three stars because of the in-depth descriptions and because I adore Italy. Mainly because I adore Italy.

I encourage you to check out the book for yourself and see what you think. The book is available on Amazon for purchase. Also make sure to leave your feedback on Goodreads after you are done reading.

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