Grazie is a simple and easy way to say thank you in Italian. Perhaps you’ve used this word yourself from time to time, even if you’re not learning Italian. But sometimes, one wants to express a stronger sense of gratitude, a heartfelt thank you, something conveying more emotion.
Molte grazie (thank you very much), grazie mille (a thousand thanks), and even grazie di tutto (thank you for everything) are all great phrases to tuck into your back pocket when traveling to Italy. It’s a beautiful thing to be able to sincerely thank someone in their own language.
Speaking of thank yous, I want to say grazie di cuore (thank you from the heart), to all of you. Prayers and Piazzas has grown tremendously since it launched a few years back, which means so much to me! I’m grateful to connect with you all and share my love of all things Italian.
Which leads me to the important part of the post: Prayers and Piazzas’ first book giveaway!
As a thank you to you cari lettori (dear readers), up for grabs are four wonderful, Italian-themed books, all signed by the authors! (molte grazie, belle donne!) Each book has special meaning to me personally, and I’m so excited (sono molto emozionata) to share them in this giveaway.
Contest details at the end of the post, but first, an overview of each libro:
La Bella Lingua by Dianne Hales
This is the “bible” for anyone who has fallen in love with Italy. This bestseller combines Dianne’s journey of learning Italian and loving Italy with a comprehensive overview of Italian culture, tradition and history. Weaved throughout are personal anecdotes and plenty of lovely (and lively!) Italian phrases.
I found this book at an open-air bookshop in Piazza della Repubblica in Florence, when I was newly smitten with the Italian language and still a little bewildered by my love of learning Italian. Because of La Bella Lingua, I realized that others shared this passion, and I felt validated in my love of all things Italian. Now whenever I encounter this book in my travels, either in the states or abroad, it feels like running into a dear friend.
Mona Lisa: A Life Discovered by Dianne Hales
Mona Lisa is a tesorso (treasure) of a book, which reads like historical fiction but uses fact to detail the life of Lisa Gherardini del Giocondo, the woman believed to be the model behind the world’s most famous painting. Through her painstaking research and seamless writing, Dianne takes us through a magic portal and plants readers into Florence in the 1400s, allowing us to see life from Gherardini’s eyes, a woman born of nobility and married to a successful Florentine silk merchant.
This book is a comprehensive read for anyone who enjoys Italian art, history and the Renaissance. Plus, this book prompted me to run away to Florence for a short time and walk the same cobbled streets as Mona Lisa, with Dianne herself!
Keep up with Dianne’s work at her award-winning blog Becoming Italian Word by Word.
Dreaming Sophia by Melissa Muldoon
Italophile Melissa shares her passion for Italian and Italy at her popular, award-winning site, Studentessa Matta. She was another person, who, early in my language journey, encouraged me through her own enthusiasm to embrace my love of Italy and Italian.
As a blogger, graphic designer, and travel expert fluent in Italian, I thought Melissa had tackled it all, but she adds another dimension to her talents in her debut novel, Dreaming Sophia. (Benfatto, Melissa! Well done!) The story is a magical look into Italy, language, art, and culture. It’s about turning dreams into reality and learning to walk the fine line between fact and fantasy. And there are surprise visits from some of the most notable characters in Italian history! I loved how this book takes us on a journey through both modern-day and historic Italy, and is sprinkled with Italian phrases and cultural tidbits. The winner of Dreaming Sophia will also receive an extra gift from Melissa: a beautiful 2017 calendar, with each month featuring a location visited in the book.
Colors of Naples and the Amalfi Coast by Margie Miklas
This book is so gorgeous that I am tempted to keep it for myself! This collection, with its rich colors and details, will transport you to the exquisite Amalfi Coast. I especially love how, in addition to stunning landscape photos, this book captures the spirit of the people who call this part of the world home.
Along with thousands of her fans, I have followed Margie’s blog for years, but I really connected with her after winning her memoir in a book contest. Margie has traveled Italy from top to bottom, and has a way of taking readers beyond the famous tourist sites and into the heartbeat of the country: the smaller towns and the people who make them unforgettable.
Keep up with Margie and her Italian travels at her popular site, Margie in Italy
Thank you again, lovely authors! Your work enriches my life and I’m honored to share your books here.
Here’s the Contest Rules:
The contest runs starting today through Sunday, November 27, 2016, and is open to all followers of Prayers and Piazzas. One winner per book, chosen at random. I will choose winners on November 28 and notify you via email (and maybe in a blog post!) if you win.
How to enter:
- Be sure you are following Prayers and Piazzas, either here on WordPress or via email, Facebook or Twitter.
- Leave a comment: I would especially love to hear what new things you’d like to see on the blog in the coming year that would be interesting or useful (want more: Italian language? Travel tips? Cultural notes? Dimmi, dimmi! Tell me, tell me!)
- Fill out the contact form below, which will not be visible to the public but will send me an email with your contact information, so that I can be sure to get in touch if you win!
Good luck with the contest, and thank you for being a part of the Prayers and Piazzas community!