An original Italian easy reader by Roberto Gamberini
“Venti giorni di cammino, di fatica, di entusiasmo e di scoperta. Venti giorni di avventura lungo una delle vie più importanti d’Europa, percorsa, negli ultimi mille anni, da principi, imperatori, cardinali, pellegrini, viandanti, giovani, vecchi, bambini, donne, uomini e animali. Una via che racchiude in sé la storia del nostro Paese, una storia fatta di accoglienza, generosità, passione e paesaggi mozzafiato: la Via Francigena.”
Join Italian teacher and author, Roberto Gamberini as he follows this famous route of pilgrimage from Lucca in Tuscany to Rome in Lazio.
- .pdf e-book (+ audio available free online)
- .mobi (Kindle-compatible) and .epub (other ebook readers) available on request at no extra charge – just add a note to the order form or email us
- 8 chapters to read and listen to
- Comprehension questions to check your understanding
- Italian/English glossary of ‘difficult’ terms for the level
- Suitable for students at advanced level
- Download your Free Sample Chapter (.pdf)
How do I access my ebook?
When your order is ‘completed’ (normally immediately after your payment), a download link will be automatically emailed to you. It’s valid for 7 days and 3 download attempts so please save a copy of the .pdf ebook in a safe place. Other versions of the ebook, where available, cannot be downloaded but will be emailed to people who request them. There’s a space to do that on the order form – where it says Additional information, Order notes (optional). If you forget, or if you have problems downloading the .pdf, don’t worry! Email us at the address on the website and we’ll help. Also, why not check out our FAQ?
Carol Re (verified owner) –
Mi è piaciuto molto. Una bella storia e ora voglio camminare La Via Francigena!
Il modo in cui Roberto ha espresso i suoi pensieri e le sue emozioni durante il cammino è stato cosi bello.
Tante nuove espressioni e vocabolari da imparare.
Consiglio vivamente questo libro da leggere e fare gli esercizi.
Aleksandra (verified owner) –
Ho appena finito leggere questo libro e devo dire che sia coinvolgente e molto interessante. Grazie mille!
María (verified owner) –
Mi è piaciuto tantissimo questo ebook. Così tanto che mi ha fatto venire voglia di percorrere la Via Francigena anch’io. Credevo che il livello fosse più alto, ma fortunatamente sono riuscita non sono a leggere e capire tutto, ma soprattutto a godermi ogni pagina.
jackie (verified owner) –
I am giving a 4 because I have not had time to read priperly but it looks very good – possibly a 5 when im finished
i am not good at reading online!
Any copy shop would print the .pdf file for you, Jackie. Or if you download the file we sent you to a computer or tablet, it should be readable offline. You only need to be online for the free audio recording.
Wendy Hartnell (verified owner) –
I’m enjoying this one. I wanted to read it after seeing a tv programme about celebrities walking the Via Francigena. It’s a bit challenging for me. I usually read the B1/B2 books and find I can whizz through those and follow the audio without difficulty. With the Via Francigena I need to read the text first and there’s usually a word in every paragraph I don’t know. I’m following the story however and doing the exercises so I think it’s helping my Italian. I’ll certainly finish it but it may take me some time.
Nils Moberg (verified owner) –
It is a very interesting story and I would like to walk a section of it. Last year I walked eleven Days and 400 miles to Santiago di Compostela. But the level was a litle difficult for me so I think I have to choose a lower level next time. But I think it´s a good method to lear language listening and reading
Aleksandra Nowacka (verified owner) –
It’s a great book and reading it is a very good way to expand vocabulary. I am really glad I bought it.
Phil Page (verified owner) –
C’è un sacco di materiale qui per il lettore più avanzato affrontare con entusiasmo (le descrizioni del paesaggio che cambia ed i personaggi che i nostri “pellegrini” incontra nel suo viaggio sono abbastanza forensi nei dettagli) e quindi presenta un eccellente valore per I soldi. Anche i compiti alla fine di ogni capitolo sostanziale sono impegnativi. Coloro che vogliono mettersi alla prova dovrebbero comprarlo.
Angela (verified owner) –
I Love this book!!
It is a bit advanced for me but it really has me wanting to walk La Via Francigena.
I have listened a few times and have only read it through once, so I may add more comments later if possible. Would recommend it for sure!
George Kanakis (verified owner) –
I started reading this book between semesters at my Italian school to keep up my Italian. I am at a reasonably advanced (though not yet fluent) level of Italian so I chose La Via Francigena . I couldn’t have been happier. The fact that you can hear it read to improve your pronounciation, the fact that there is a glossary at the end of each not too long chapter and, the fact that there is a comprehension test at the end made it really worthwhile. I have to admit I was reading it hours at a time as I copied new words and phrases I encountered while reading the book. Can we have some more such easy readers? They are really worthwhile.
By the way, the ordering system was pretty good as well.
Bernadette (verified owner) –
I really appreciated the inclusion of a book at C1 level. The story is interesting and has provided me with a number of jumping off points. The new vocabulary was very useful – and I have used it in conversations with great effect.
The audio is clear and precise.
I have read the book several times and I have found it very useful in developing an understanding of the Italian narrative style.
I recommend this book as it is full of useful little gems.
Julie Shuttleworth –
I am enjoying it immensely. The speed of the audio version is perfect, not too fast and not too slow, easy to understand with the inevitable “what was that word? “ which always helps to expand vocabulary. Going backwards and forwards between audio and text is a great way to learn and the exercises are useful too. More like this please! It is great value for money as well.
Moira Pool (verified owner) –
I bought this book as I am planning to do a long (ish) distance walk in Italy with a fellow walker of similar vintage and fitness. Via Francigena comes well recommended for many of the reasons Roberto brings out in this very readable and entertaining book. I was not disappointed.
There is little I can add to the plaudits given by others on the merits of the book, other than as my first easy reader it proved to be a worthwhile relaxation from reading more challenging Italian literature for an Italian book group. I did appreciate the inclusion of many idiomatic phrases -” Passo di gambero ” prompted quite a debate with some Italian friends as to whether it is prawns or crabs and do they really walk backwards! It was useful to learn new vocabulary and expressions as well as coping with a 20 day walk .
I recommend the book to anyone with a reasonable knowledge of Italian, especially those interested in trekking through beautiful countryside steeped in history.
Now it is back to Mario Tobino, Bologna, fascism and the partisans before I meet up next week with my fellow traveller to plan our walk along former routes taken by pilgrims.
Thank you Roberto and thank you to Madrelingua.
Carol Re (verified owner) –
I finished reading La Via Francigena and loved it! I read the chapters one at a time then listened following the text then listened without the text several times and I was surprised how much I understood as the audio is read quite quickly and at times not very clearly . I did the exercises which was also a big help in fully comprehending the story and learning new vocabulary. I love hiking myself so I had that interest. I find reading the text first then listening works better for me and I enjoyed the challenge.
Definitely worthwhile buying!
Marion (verified owner) –
This was a wonderful book.I listened to it all over a couple of days, loved it and wanted to arrange to walk parts of it.
Since then I have read it slowly.It was enjoyable to read: the descriptions of the countryside, the places and the people along the way.I could also relate to the narrator’s reflections on the power of walking alone in the countryside.
As a learning tool it was useful too.The excercises were varied and challenging.
I look forward to more books at this level!
Juliette Houte (verified owner) –
As they all said before me it is very good!
I have studied in deep capter one only to present to a group of friends. I look forward to do the other chapters.
Thank you. I am French Australian and as
French it is interesting me .
I went to St gimignano and did not know about that.
Judy Jacques –
I’m enjoying this book very much and will look for others at the same level.
I really appreciate the detailed reviews explaining different approaches: helpful.
As a new member I’m impressed with the Club’s activities and approaches – plenty of choice.
Linda Cooper (verified owner) –
After reading Roberto Gamberini’s latest “easyreader”, all I can say is WOW and BRAVO Roberto! I enjoyed being taken along on his 20 day journey where I shared in the history, challenges, beauty and peace of “il percorso” – La Via Francigena. As I trekked along with him, I felt the warmth of the Italian residents in the little towns where he made his stops each day. Also palpable was Roberto’s willingness to embrace new and unfamiliar experiences and to partake in the local foods and customs.
But at the end of the day, what impressed me most was his willingness to be open, honest and transparent with regard to the emotional highs and lows of the journey. He shared not only his moments of elation and wonder at the breathtaking vistas but also his feelings of vulnerability and his tears when having to part with a new and dear friend who shared several days of the journey with him. I couldn’t help but get the feeling that by taking this journey there were many unexpected rewards. I felt that he had seen the country of his birth through a new set of eyes and that he had fallen in love with it . And truth be told – so did I.
Patricia Lenz (verified owner) –
La Via Francigena is a good contemporary trekking story filled with specific landscape, trail and state of mind descriptions. Although the language and usage are complex, the exercises following each chapter are excellent. They help understand nuances in the story and are as logical as following the trek!
For example: exercises matching the “sinonimi” really enhanced my understanding of the story.
It has taken me multiple read/listen sessions, and La Via Francigena is long; it has taken a while to digest all of it. I have used and learned from most of the ebooks, but this one is unique in its approach to understanding use of the Italian language. I would recommend it to anyone who has intermediate understanding of written Italian.
It seems to me that there us something for every reader to identify with.
For me, for instance, it is walking alone and the issue of dogs; never mind wolves and bears!. There is a walk I like to take, a few miles from my house in the country; there are big, threatening dogs, not always confined. I carry pepper spray and a heavy stick, but they are frightening and don’t respond to sweet talk. I believe no real dog lover would endanger their dog or passers-by in this way.
And, at the end, he talks to his boots. Now, that’s real.
Ruth Stephens –
I was looking forward to reading this book so much that I broke with my usual practice of listening to each chapter, then reading the text before going on to the next . I read the book right through and enjoyed it immensely, so much so that I just passed over words I didn’t know and if they weren’t in the glossary, well it didn’t matter, I’d understood the sentence or paragraph well enough. I knew the audio would be more of a challenge and yet, it wasn’t because I recognised so much of it from having read the text – it was like reading it again, albeit with a few gaps. I am full of admiration for Roberto’s great achievement in completing such a long stretch of the Via Francigena and for writing about it so beautifully.
Harold Wonham (verified owner) –
This is an excellent book on many counts. It is informative and interesting, with a very good choice of vacabulary. At times it is objective, but it is also a very personal account, of the pains and pleasures of a long walking trip (eg dogs, and female companions). With each chapter being concerned with walking part of the Via, it might have become repetitive, but Roberto contrives to give each chapter a slightly different focus, so it is never boring or repetitive.
The level is quite high, but with the text in front of me, I did not need much help. It will, however, be a long time before I manage to hear any of the book without the text ibefore me. I knew the reading would be fast (Italians seem to speak their langauge much faster than I speak my native English!) but I am determined to make progress. However, it does seem that the expression of the reading in places does not really support the meaning of the text.
I was delighted with the variety of the exercises, which definitely test a range of higher reading skills. I found those exercises dealing with idioms and synonyms particularly valuable.
Altogether I think the book is great value – and I still have lots more value that I can extract from further readings. May there be more Easy Readers of similar difficulty, interest and challenge!
martha wilson (verified owner) –
Well done! I love the topic and the level of difficulty: it’s a great challenge and very interesting. I appreciate the speed of the audio as well. More like this, please!
Jo Wheeler (verified owner) –
I began by listening to the recording but found the P-pops annoying so decided to read the story right through instead. It was interesting and entertaining and I will reread it before doing any of the exercises. Then I will try listening again.
I give it 5 stars for the story but only 4 for the recording, so 4.5 really, if you can have half a star!
De Booser Jan (verified owner) –
Fascinating and excellent story!
Exercises poorly worked out and with some mistakes …
Joan Segna (verified owner) –
I have only read the first two chapters of La Via Francigena, but I love the subject matter, I feel like I am getting a peak at the author and his personality, and I am learning some new words. It spurs me on to follow the author’s journey. I would recommend it for anyone that has the basics of the language. Buona avventura!
Tony Prosser (verified owner) –
This is really excellent; I have used quite a number of the easy readers and for me it is the best so far. It is also the most advanced, but not outageously so for someone with a reasonable understanding of Italian and wishing to improve it. If you can manage the B1/B2 easy readers you should try this. One big advantage is that there are now several exercises for each chapter rather than just one; I asked for this in earlier reviews so thanks for doing it! It is also extraordinarily good value for money.
My method for reading was to listen first to the audio right through over several brief evening sessions and try to get the gist. I managed this through keeping to a couple of rules which I think are essential. First, don’t try to understand everything as you don’t need to in order to work out what is going on. Second, don’t do a running translation in your head, which was always a big temptation at earlier levels of learning the language. Just try to take in the Italian directly. I then listened again with the written text, having first looked at the simplest of the exercises which normally asks for key points from the text; this gives you something to listen out for. I attempted the other exercises, not always successfully, and listened again. All this sounds quite daunting but as the chapters are quite brief it does not take too long.
I found the story fascinating, perhaps because I like walking and have done some long distance routes, though I have not had Roberto’s impressive ability to attract a range of female companions for different stages of the journey. It should be of interest to all readers, however, as he writes extremely well and there is good development to maintain the interests of readers.
Overall I really recommend this highly so long as you are not a beginner and so long as you have good motivation for improving your Italian.
Linda Ann Novelli Thompson (verified owner) –
Just finished reading the book and I LOVED it!! I bought it for two reasons…. the topic and the level of difficulty. I am interested in the Via Francigena and would love to walk a section of it. I have learned (am learning) some new vocabulary and expressions which is always quite useful. I will now listen to the rest of the recording and re-read and do the exercises. I chose to read the book first because I was very interested and did not want to stop to do the exercises. I did listen to 3 chapters but will now listen to the book in its entirety. Thanks so much for this interesting book!
stella moore –
I have ordered my first ebook through your system. It was a very easy and trouble free process, and I have listened and read the first chapter which was very clear. I am looking forward to following the text, listening to the text and then having a go at the related exercises.
The topic is of interest to me as I love hillwalking.
Thanks for taking the time to leave a review, Stella. You should have received the full version of the ebook by now. If not, let me know and I will be happy to resend it.