Story at a glance

  • Nicolas Gentile, a 37-year-old Italian pastry chef with a degree in geology, lives like a fictional hobbit with his wife and two children.
  • Gentile hopes to further develop his land into a hobbit village for friends and visitors to come and experience the fantasy life depicted in his favorite sagas.
  • Actors from “The Lord of the Rings,” including Elijah Wood, have contacted Gentile to praise his efforts.

Actors from “The Lord of the Rings” have praised an Italian man who lives as a hobbit.

Nicolas Gentile, a 37-year-old Italian pastry chef with a degree in geology, lives like a fictional hobbit, even donning hobbit clothing such as breeches and cloaks.

“Some time ago, I realised that books and films were no longer enough for me to satisfy my passion for the fantasy genre and, in particular, for the Lord of the Rings saga,” Gentile told The Guardian. “I was still reading about the lives of other people. I decided that I wanted to live my hobbit life to the fullest.”


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On Sunday, Gentile posted a video compilation to his Instagram consisting of a series of clips of multiple “The Lord of the Rings” actors praising his efforts.

“I hope this finds you happy, healthy and well,” said Elijah Wood, who portrayed Frodo Baggins in the movies. “I went to your Instagram page and it is incredible what you are doing. I love the costumes, the individual set photos that you have done, in front of fires, smoking a pipe. It’s so beautiful. Well done! I can’t wait to watch your progress and I will follow you on Instagram. That is so amazing. If I’m ever in your neck of the woods, in your shire, I would love to visit.’’

“I know you walked for 300km to throw the ring into Vesuvius,” said Sean Astin, who played Samwise Gamgee. “Into Vesuvius! This is an amazing thing! I don’t know if the Italian mountains are Mordor, but all that effort and work is a wonderful thing!”

Gentile bought land in Bucchianico near Chieti, which he called Gentile’s Shire, and built his own hobbit house, where he lives with his wife and two children. Now, Gentile wants to further develop his land into a hobbit village for friends and visitors to come and experience the fantasy life depicted in his favorite sagas.

“I realised that I have always lived in the Shire. The only thing missing was to become aware of it and build a village. I wanted people to enter my mind, my fantasy,” Gentile said. “Many make fun of us. Some think I am trying to escape from reality. Far from it. I am living my dream, my adventure. By purchasing that piece of land, I have removed it from a reality that I don’t like and am shaping it the way I want.”


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Published on Sep 15, 2021