- Reader Views 2016/17 Literary Awards Winner
- Readers Favorite 2017 Award Winner Travel category
- Eric Hoffer Award Finalist
- 2017 ELIT Award Winner Travel category
- IAN Book of the Year Finalist Travel & Humor/Comedy/Satire categories
- New York & Amsterdam Book Festival Honourable Mentions
- "a comical, often downright hilarious account" Reader's Favorite Review ☀️☀️☀️☀️☀️
- "Smulders' storytelling artistry is wildly entertaining" Blogcritics/Reader Views ☀️☀️☀️☀️☀️
- "Stef Smulders ... does what a good writer does: He writes what he observes and leaves the judgement to you, the reader. No constant bellyaching from Mr. Smulders. I like that. I really like that." James Martin, Italy expert, wanderingitaly.com
- "Fantastico! I am a tough critic and have nothing but kudos for this book. Buy this book!!" Elliana on Amazon
- "There is more of the flavor of Italy in this book than in ... Frances Mayes' 'Under the Tuscan Sun'" Amazon review by Grady Harp HALL OF FAME TOP 100
- "now I can add Stef Smulders to the list of my favorite expat authors" N.N. Light
The reader is introduced to a full range of Italian characters, from the trustworthy to the rogue, from the gentle to the shameless, flesh and blood Italians. Some are stereotype, others unexpectedly original. Yet they never fail to amuse and entertain.
For lovers of books like
- Michelle Damiani's Il Bel Centro
- Katherine Wilson's Only in Naples
- Tim Parks' Italian Ways & Italian Neighbours
- Frances Mayes' Under the Tuscan Sun & Bella Tuscany
- Gerald Durrell's Corfu Trilogy
- Bill Bryson's Neither Here Nor There & The Road to Little Dribbling
- "I was hooked"
- "Couldn't put the book down"
- "What a fantastic read!"
Stef Smulders and his husband Nico are two adventurous Dutch men who decided to start a new life in Italy. In 2008 they made the big move with their dog Saar and set up Bed and Breakfast Villa I Due Padroni in the beautiful wine region of the Oltrepò Pavese to the south of Milan. In 2014 Stef published his first collection of amusing short stories (in Dutch) about daily life among the Italians, entitled “Italiaanse Toestanden - Leven en overleven in Italie”. It was so well received that he published a follow-up volume of humorous anecdotes in 2016. The third volume is under preparation, expected to be in press by spring 2017. "Living in Italy: the Real Deal" is the translation into English of the first volue.