The Hero’s Way: Walking with Garibaldi from Rome to Ravenna
(HARVILL SECKER, 384 PP, £20)
Tablet bookshop price £18 • tel 020 7799 4064
In the summer of 2019, Tim Parks and his partner, Eleonora, quit their day jobs and walked the 250 miles from Roma to Romagna, in Italy’s north-east. They were tracing Giuseppe Garibaldi and his 4,000 volunteers, pursued by French and Austrians after the fall of the short-lived Roman Republic in July 1849. Of course, their hardships do not quite compare. Parks and his companion did not heft a cannon, nor did they sleep outside; nor was Eleonora seven months pregnant, like Garibaldi’s wife, Anita. But they win the reader’s respect nonetheless. Park’s prose reflects the hot sun overhead, the hard stone underfoot; it spares none of the senses, and it makes for sympathetic reading.