Lime, Lemon and Sarsaparilla: The Italian Community in South Wales, 1881-1945

Colin Hughes
Publication Date: 
Friday, August 28, 2020
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Lime, Lemon & Sarsaparilla is a wonderful evocation of Italian immigration in south Wales from the turn of the century to the postwar years, when the Italian café was central to life in many small communities in the Valleys. This first detailed book on the subject follows the fortunes of Italian families such as Rabaiotti, Berni, Bracchi, Conti, Fulgoni, Sidoli and many others, and explores their influence on Welsh society.

In this award-winning study Colin Hughes, himself a south Walian, explains why so many immigrants from Bardi settled in the area. He looks at the rise of Italian temperance bars in non-conformist Wales, and at the economic and social factors which lie behind the rapid rise and slow decline of the Italian café. His book also includes a fascinating chapter on the treatment of Italian internees, and the Arandora Star tragedy in which many died when their ship to Canada was sunk by a U-boat.

Fully illustrated with contemporary photographs, and with a Foreword by the Welsh-Italian actor Victor Spinetti, Lime, Lemon & Sarsaparilla is a revealing history of our recent past.

“A splendid and sensitively-written account...It is essential reading for all who wish to have a fuller understanding of how modern Wales was built.” – Hywel Francis

“A nice blend of meticulous scholarship and good historical story-telling, Hughes’s book is delightfully written and conveys a strong sense of both place and time.” – Studi Emigrazione

“Hughes is to be congratulated, [he has] charted the history of this migrant population with excessive devotion...brand new territory.” – T.L.S.

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