Experience Basilicata, Authentic Italy

“Basilicata is a misshapen, green, rocky, mountainous piece of land forming the awkward instep of Italy’s boot, and Matera is its gnarled crown jewel,” writes Susan Wright for The New York Times, in an article announcing Matera, the region’s most well-known town, as the 2019 European Capital of Culture. American movie director Francis Ford Coppola,…

Of Blog Posts and Books, 2017

Of Blog Posts I was thrilled to count readers from 86 different countries here on the blog in 2017– grazie di cuore! Thank you from the heart, I’m truly honored! Here’s what got the most attention: Say Your Prayers Short and sweet from the archives, posted at a time when I thought readers, especially in the US,…

Reads for Renaissance Lovers

Whether categorized as a collection or a fascination/obsession, one topic which is well represented in my home library is the Renaissance. I tend to purchase a book or two during my travels, sparked by something amazing I’ve seen and unable to resist the always strategically placed gift shops. Examples: Above: Brunelleschi’s Dome by Ross King is a must-read…

Reads for Renaissance Lovers: Just the Lists

For an extended version of this post which includes book summaries and thoughts from your reviewer, please click here. 15 Renaissance Reads Mona Lisa: A Life Discovered by Dianne Hales Brunelleschi’s Dome by Ross King Leonardo and The Last Supper by Ross King Michelangelo and the Pope’s Ceiling by Ross King (detecting a pattern, here?)…

All the Books, 2016

This was a year of re-reads, starts and stops, and an abundance of non-fiction. I loved re-visiting some long-time favorites (Traveling Mercies, All the Light We Cannot See) and reading the longer works of favorite bloggers (Memoirs of a Solo Traveler, Dreaming Sophia). Best read of the year: Leonardo and the Last Supper by Ross King,…

BookLove: The Dianne Hales Edition

My FAVORITE book on Italian Culture, La Bella Lingua by Dianne Hales, has been named Amazon’s #1 Bestseller in Travel, Italy. To celebrate, I’m re-posting my book review here, which first ran in December 2014. Auguri, Dianne!

Traveling Italy with Margie

“Congratulations, Stacy, you are one of the winners…” is an email I have received never… before last week, when I got an email stating exactly that! I was thrilled just to win something, and even happier when I realized that the message was from Margie Miklas, blogger behind the popular Margie in Italy blog, and author…

The Book List 2015

I. Love. Books. Books that you can hold in your hand, to dog-ear the pages and underline poetic/inspirational/touching phrases and paragraphs. Books to tuck into your bag, or to keep in the car, always at the ready for the unexpected quiet moment. Books to return to, year after year, like a treasured friend. This time…

BookLove: Thomas Jefferson’s Library

Tucked behind a completely unrelated exhibit on the second floor of the Library of Congress hides a treasure: Thomas Jefferson’s Library. Here, in a circular display which quietly tugs you into its literary vortex are gathered approximately 5,000 volumes recreating Jefferson’s personal library.  Of these, 3,000 are books which match titles (of the same era…

BookLove: Fluent Forever by Gabriel Wyner

“No one can give you a language: you have to take it for yourself.” — Gabriel Wyner Gabriel Wyner is clearly brilliant. He is an opera singer who graduated summa cum laude from his university and is fluent in six languages, primarily self-taught. In Fluent Forever, published in 2014 by Harmony Books, he shares his language learning secrets….