Sunday, 16 December 2018

WHITIANGA WEATHER

Giorgio Allemano to launch his first, and his last, book

By Suzanne Hansen

Mark your calendars for an exciting book launch of “Two Dogs, One Wife” by Whitianga’s Giorgio Allemano. The launch is scheduled for Thursday 22 November at 10:30am at the Mercury Bay Library.   

Two Dogs, One Wife is Giorgio’s first book and by his account also his last. It’s a true story of love, which Giorgio originally wrote for his two children, but when the story started to take form on paper, he knew that it had a much wider appeal.   

The story is set in Turin, Italy in the 1980s. While on a train trip from Italy to England, Giorgio meets the love of his life, Margherita. The two start a life together, indulging in their mutual love for dogs by getting their first puppy. They lose their cherished puppy in an accident, but soon Aria, a German Shepherd, arrives.

Six days before Giorgio and Margherita’s wedding, Aria disappears, apparently kidnapped. Although a distraught Giorgio is happy to call off the wedding, and is brave enough to raise the idea, Margherita is less happy and the wedding proceeds. A six-week epic search ensues, with many tragic and comedic episodes set against entertaining glimpses of a beautiful Tuscan and Mediterranean summer and old, classic Turin. Through endless advertising and publicity, Aria becomes literally the most famous dog in Italy.  

Giorgio wrote Two Dogs, One Wife in Italian. It took him five years to complete the manuscript. The book was translated into English by a friend of Giorgio in Queenstown. “It took a year to translate the book,” says Giorgio. “From there it was another two years of editing, eight years in total from when I wrote the first word to when the book was published.”

Two Dogs, One Wife can be purchased through Amazon and other online book retailers. The cover of the book is the image that was used in Giorgio and Margherita’s wedding invitation. The image was painted by Margherita.

Giorgio and Margherita moved with their family from Italy to New Zealand in 1995, in search of a new home that was less chaotic than Europe. They had a preference for a Commonwealth country as Commonwealth countries were, in their view, more organised and law abiding. They considered a few options, ruling out Canada as too cold and Australia as “too poisonous.” They settled on New Zealand north of Tauranga as everywhere to the south was also too cold. Touring around New Zealand in a campervan, they arrived in Whitianga one afternoon at around 3:00pm. By 5:00 pm they had already spoken to three real estate agents. “We were sold on Mercury Bay,” says Giorgio.

These days their two children are grown-up and doing their own thing, and Giorgio and Margherita run the beautiful Villa Toscana Lodge in the hills above Whitianga. Giorgio spends his leisure time playing bridge - “My religion,” he says - and golf against himself. He literally plays with two balls and competes against himself. Still dog lovers, he and Margherita currently own a Great Dane by the name of Romeo. “Seventy-five kilogrammes of love,” says Giorgio.

As the book launch on 22 November is Giorgio’s first book launch, he has no idea what to do or what to expect. “I hope many people will come along and together we’ll figure it out,” he says.

Picutred is Giorgio Allemano with his book “Two Dogs, One Wife".

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The Mercury Bay Informer is a highly popular community newspaper, based in Whitianga. The paper is distributed throughout the Coromandel Peninsula, coast to coast from Thames to north of Colville.