North Beach Bookstore Discovery: Libreria Pino

We happened upon this charming book seller when it was a pop-up on Grant last year. Now it has more permanent digs on Union Street just down the block.

A popular mystery was purchased, and then the more satisfying nonfiction work of local writer Dianne Hales. Her La Passione: How Italy Seduced the World is a delightful collection of observations and insights.

We especially enjoyed the chapter “Passion on Wheels,” where she describes Italy’s “greed for speed,” dating back to chariot racing.

Enzo Ferrari is described in loving detail as is Maria Antonietta Avanzo, (1889-1977) one of his most celebrated drivers.

“She hunted tigers in India, bought a five-hundred-acre sheep farm in Australia, and developed friendships with Gabriele D’Annunzio, Amedeo Modigliani, and Earnest Hemingway.”

What a gal.

Same goes for the author, Ms. Hales.