The Miracle of Castel di Sangro: A Tale of Passion and Folly in the Heart of Italy
Author: Joe McGinniss
Courses: English 12 & 12H
Master storyteller Joe McGinniss travels to Italy to cover the unlikely success of a ragtag minor league soccer team–and delivers a brilliant and utterly unforgettable story of life in an off-the-beaten-track Italian village.
When Joe McGinniss sets out for the remote Italian village of Castel di Sangro one summer, he merely intends to spend a season with the village’s soccer team, which only weeks before had, miraculously, reached the second-highest-ranking professional league in the land. But soon he finds himself embroiled with an absurd yet irresistible cast of characters, including the team’s owner, described by the New York Times as “straight out of a Mario Puzo novel,” and coach Osvaldo Jaconi, whose only English word is the one he uses to describe himself: “bulldozer.”
As the riotous, edge-of-your-seat season unfolds, McGinniss develops a deepening bond with the team, their village and its people, and their country. Traveling with the miracle team, from the isolated mountain region where Castel di Sangro is located to gritty towns as well as grand cities, McGinniss introduces us to an Italy that no tourist guidebook has ever described, and comes away with a “sad, funny, desolating, and inspiring story–everything, in fact, a story should be” (Los Angeles Times).