In 1933, Patrick Leigh Fermor set out in a pair of hobnailed boots to chance and charm his way across Europe, ‘like a tramp, a pilgrim or a wandering scholar’, from the Hook of Holland to Istanbul. Seventy-eight years later, I followed in his footsteps.
My first book recounts a seven-month walk through Holland, Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey on a quest to discover what remains of hospitality, kindness to strangers, freedom, wildness, adventure and the deeper currents of myth and story that still flow beneath Europe’s surface.
Finalist for the Stanford Dolman Travel Book of the Year 2015 Named as a Book of the Year in the Financial Times and the Spectator
‘A glorious book, rich with insight and wit… it represents a fine addition to the literature of the leg’ – Robert Macfarlane
‘Vivid and hard-won’ – Giles Foden in Condé Nast Traveller
‘This moving and profoundly honest book sometimes brings a sense of unlimited freedom, sometimes joy, sometimes an extraordinary, dream-like dislocation: always accompanied by a dazzling sharpness of hearing and vision’ – Artemis Cooper in the Spectator
Published in Italian as Camminando fra i boschi e l’acqua by Neri Pozza. You can order it here.