Eugenio D’Agostino left Picinisco in poverty with his father and a few other boys and walked to Edinburgh. He narrates his journey in this book.
Oxford University Press wrote this in 1938, when they published this book, which has been long out of print:-
"This curious essay in autobiography has been printed almost exactly as it reached the publishers. It tells of the boyhood of a poor Italian who was exploited with his companions and forced to wander the roads of England and Wales, playing organs and eliciting sympathy. It is vivid, simple, and strangely exciting. It reminds the reader sometimes of ‘The Young Visitors', sometimes because of its unspecified chronology and dreamlike colour, of a fairy tale. As a piece of sociological evidence it is not negligible, as a human document it is appealing and important. The author (whose real name does not appear) now lives in Edinburgh".
Eugenio’s image may be known to a number of people who have seen the famous film of families from Picinisco enjoying the annual Alva Picnic filmed before the Second World War in Scotland. He is the man sitting on the ground, laughing and drinking from the flask of wine! We believe this to be a valid way of remembering the hardships suffered by those who have left Italy and especially the Ciociaria to make a life abroad, but who have never forgotten their roots.
Although the book is out of Copyright, we requested and have received consent to the reprinting from Rosalinda D’Agostino, Eugenio’s granddaughter, who has conformed that all proceeds from the sale may be used for the benefit of the Millennium Celebrations. As soon as it is available we shall announce where it can be purchased.