Joseph McGrath, graduate of the UPenn Master in Liberal Arts program with a focus on creative writing, former CEO at Unisys and Senior Executive at Xerox, and local Philadelphia resident will be giving a public reading from his new memoir, Innocents Abroad...How Two Baby Boomers Experienced a Cultural Immersion, the History of Western Art and Excellent Food on Their Way to an Extraordinary Year in Europe, to be followed by a Q&A and book signing. All members of the public are invited to attend.
Join in a celebration of the book’s publication with an assortment of complimentary cheese and charcuterie from the expert caterers of DiBruno Bros. There will be a freely available and ample supply of fine European wines on hand—a diverse array of varietals, red and white, selected from Italian, French, and Spanish vineyards.
Joe McGrath and his wife Lisa, recent retirees, took their own year abroad in Europe, staying at Airbnb's in the glorious historically saturated cities of Rome, Florence, Paris, and Barcelona, with a few marvelous pitstops along the way. They settled into these cities and became de facto citizens, not tourists, immersing themselves in local culture and making friends everywhere. The book explains how they financed their trip through implementing a carefully planned budget. Read this book to not only imagine what it would be like to practically spend a year in Europe as an adult, but to learn how to deal with the realities of doing so with anecdotal wit – dealing with family emergencies and the occasionally less-than-advertised freezing Airbnb. You'll get to learn of the joys of specifically recommended wine bars of Roma, the three-star Michelin restaurants of Paris, and the tapas bars of Barcelona. Before and after meals, they have the chance to explore the cities and their array of artworks, from the most ancient architecture of Rome to the organic and surreal shapes of Gaudi's architecture. For the reader, the book is both a tour unto itself and a guide -- from the difficulty of obtaining long-term travel visas, the most multiply useful necessities one should only pack so as not to be exhaustively trudging through train stations and up streets with heavy mounds of luggage, when and where it is worth hiring a guide.
“Reading Innocents Abroad is like taking a vicarious journey across Europe with close friends. Joseph McGrath paints a vivid picture of the history, sites, and tastes of its most famous cities with informed stops at some of Europe’s finest museums, cathedrals, and squares. So enticing are his tales that you’ll want to pack your bags and go before you put it down.”
—William Perthes, Bernard C. Watson Director of Adult Education, Barnes Foundation
“As a child growing up in Europe/France, the book brings back wonderful memories of the small stores, patisseries, and local markets. Diving into this book will fly you first-class to experience the life abroad without leaving home.”
—Pierre Camels, Bibou Restaurant Owner and Head Chef
“Innocents Abroad is at once a travel guide, a reminiscence and memoir, and a restaurant guide and art history lesson. Guide, gourmand, bibliophile, cartographer, and art critic, McGrath leaves us a trail to follow should we ever spend a year, or even a week, in Europe.
—Frank Plantan Jr.,PhD, Co-Director of the International Relations Program, University of Pennsylvania
Wine and Food are complimentary.
Author Bio, Praise, Excerpt, Images