• The Road to San Donato

  • Fathers, Sons, and Cycling across Italy
  • By: Robert Cocuzzo
  • Narrated by: James Patrick Cronin
  • Length: 7 hrs and 29 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (133 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The Road to San Donato is an adventurous and nostalgic bicycling memoir of an American father and son tracing their Italian heritage. Riding rental bikes and carrying a bare minimum of supplies, Rob Cocuzzo and his 64-year-old father, Stephen, embark on a 425-mile ride from Florence to San Donato Val di Comino, an ancient village in the mountains outside of Rome from which the Cocuzzo family emigrated a hundred years earlier.

Prompted by Rob's ailing grandfather, who regrets having never visited his home village, the two cyclists pledge to make the trip in the old man's honor. Despite an expired passport, getting lost, some near misses, and other misadventures, the father and son finally reach the quirky village of San Donato. For Italian Jews in the 1940s, the road to San Donato was one of exile, and many of the people in the village banded together to protect nearly a hundred Jews. While meeting his many new cousins, Rob attempts to unlock this history and glean what role his family played at the time - resistors or collaborators? The Road to San Donato is a generational story that many Americans share and a travel adventure not to be missed.

©2019 Robert Cocuzzo (P)2019 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about The Road to San Donato

Average Customer Ratings
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    5 out of 5 stars
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Stunning and memorable

I never wanted this book to end.

What is most striking about this beautifully written account of a father and son's bicycle journey through Italy, is that it is far more of an introspective dive into the authors soul; but with candor, humor and descriptive prose that leaves the reader (listener) squarely alongside. This vivid depiction of the human condition; fraught with all of the things said and left unsaid, done and left undone, intimately weave into one of the best memoirs that I have ever read. There are historical perspectives that enrich the personal narrative in a particularly powerful way. A must read!

2 people found this helpful

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Great book great journey

From start to finish this book had me at the edge of my seat. Not only is it well written, it gives a chronological recollection of the journey from Boston USA to San Donato Italy. Every new place they rode I got a very great description of what the place was like. How it looked, the vibe and people. My favorite part of the book was at the end where the author after pondering his families involvement in the the protection of Jewish people, sighed a breathe of relief finding out they were on the right side of history. Ironic how your ancestors helped the Jewish people that came to San Donato, now you’re married to a Beautiful Jewish lady! I recommend this to anyone. Time to go start my own journey thanks to your inspiration Rob!

2 people found this helpful

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fun and enlightening

good to last drop want to know more about the town now would only visit by bike

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  • Ph
  • 04-17-21

captivating

Transfixed the moment I started listening. I loved the narration by James Patrick Cronin. A combination of bike adventure, coping with loss, and insight into family and origins.

1 person found this helpful

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the first 2/3 were great. last 1/3 meh.

I liked the story a lot. Once they got to San Donato the story pivots into something I had little to no interest in.

1 person found this helpful

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Neat story. Fowl language

This book is a great story about family, fathers and sons building meaningful relationships. The book is read well with a clear, pleasant voice and nice accent. Some of the characters use a lot of fowl language so I would not suggest it for young people.

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MUCH more than just a bike story

This audio book is fantastic!!!! EXTREMELY well written and narrated. The characterization is brilliant. It weaves in a part of Italy’s history that is little known. This story of the generosity of the Italian people, their courage, and their humanitarianism makes them unsung super heroes. This book should be required required reading in the high school curriculum. It is a deep and rich portrait of both the worst and best of mankind.

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a spiritual journey

This was a great listen and not what I expected. Great combination of Italian, Italian-American, and WWII history serving as the backdrop for an entertaining and moving story about the relationship between the author and his father. I truly did not want the book to end.

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Good story but lacked richer details about Italy and cycling

It was a nice story but I expected a story with richer details and more emotion, I felt the story while nice was a bit flat.

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nice find

Sometimes I thought it was slow but maybe I need to slow down and chill.

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  • Ryan Butland
  • 03-04-22

a lovely insight

I enjoyed this. it surprised me. Learning of the relationship between father and son was lovely.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-03-20

What a great book.

This is a fantastic story full of wisdom & wistful takes on life.

The family dynamic was beautifully captured & presented.

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  • adam
  • 05-06-22

fantastic and brilliant, loved it!

fantastic and brilliant, loved it definitely recommend. a journey with in a journey. Ah ok I need fifteen words to submit this. no spoilers here ppl....