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A little Italy every day

Old Dec 3rd, 1999, 11:19 AM
  #1  
pam
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A little Italy every day

I just learned of a new book about bringing Italy home, ways to incorporate reminders of beloved Italy into one's daily existence. Other than participating in this forum, I wonder how you other Italophiles manage to sustain yourselves between visits. Please share!
 
Old Dec 3rd, 1999, 11:21 AM
  #2  
sera68
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Pam: what's the name of the book?
 
Old Dec 3rd, 1999, 12:26 PM
  #3  
lola
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I sustain myself between visits to Italy by eating at Italian restaurants, drinking limoncello, saying "ciao" rather than "bye," planning future trips, and participating on this forum--which is probably the best way of all. Ciao, Pam.
 
Old Dec 3rd, 1999, 12:47 PM
  #4  
pam
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The book is Italy Fever: 14 Ways to Satisfy your Love Affair with Italy by Darlene Marwitz. I first heard of it today.
Ciao, Lola!
 
Old Dec 3rd, 1999, 12:53 PM
  #5  
Dona
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Pam,

A great question... and thanks for the book title.

I take Italian lessons every week with a friend, with a private teacher and we talk Italian, drink wine and munch things like Reggiano Parmigiana and olives. I eat at any Italian restaurant I can find - and practice my Italian with anyone willing to listen.

I give advice to anyone planning a trip - have every trip on a spreadsheet - which I can sort by province, town, date, etc. (it's kind of sick really! LOL) I manage to get there at least once a year and love to plan it.

And I'm so glad I found this Forum - I've become addicted...
 
Old Dec 3rd, 1999, 03:11 PM
  #6  
Cheryl Z.
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What a timely question for me!! We'll be in Italy in 5 months and 27 days, but who's counting? We eat at Italian restaurants alot, and I'm not a wine snob, but we try to always order Italian or Sicilian wines, or Italian beer. I read
the labels and try to figure out if I've been there. We order canolis and stuff from Ferraro's in Little Italy in NY. Also watch any movie made in or about Italy. And I try to be polite to others when they talk about how WONDERFUL a place like The Olive Garden is for "Italian" food which should be ashamed of itself!
 
Old Dec 3rd, 1999, 03:17 PM
  #7  
Jolene
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I too eat in as many Italian restaurants as possible, but since I live in north-central Idaho, there aren't many good ones around so we cook Italian dishes several times a week.
I also am taking Italian lessons, but in a much less formal way than Dona. Several people in the community meet weekly for a class that we hold in the student lounge at a local college. We are fortunate to have an exchange student from Croatia whose mother is Italian for our "teacher." We are made up of people who immigrated from Italy with their families, people who grew up speaking Italian at home and English at school, college students, people who have lived in Italy or those like me who have been once and can't wait to return! We are using one of the Living Language series for our text book. The group started out with 3-4 people and has grown in the past 3 months to 18 simply by word of mouth. We are a community of Italophiles. Once a week I get to return in spirit to Bella Italia! Maybe this idea will work in other places???
 
Old Dec 3rd, 1999, 03:35 PM
  #8  
Diane
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I think Italy will be our next European trip...the local PBS fundraising show last night was all Italy...a video of Northern Italy made up totally of aerial (sp?) from the air) shots, we caught the last hour or so and it was pretty cool. Minimal voiceover and just enough superimposed titles to let you know what you were seeing. No, I didn't pledge $100 to get the video...but maybe I'll feel differently about that after I've been there.
 
Old Dec 3rd, 1999, 05:25 PM
  #9  
Rex
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You said it Dona!

If there's a better perpetual cocktail party than this, I can't imagine what it would be!
 
Old Dec 3rd, 1999, 05:48 PM
  #10  
lola
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This thread is tutto bene!

Ciao.
 
Old Dec 6th, 1999, 06:52 AM
  #11  
Carol
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Hi folks--Funny this topic should come up! My favorite thing is to read novels set in Italy. Donna Leon writes a terrific mystery series set in Venice. I just read two fabulous novels by Lisa St. Auban de Teran--"The Palace" set in 19th century Venice is a tour de force which absolutely transported me there; another de Teran novel I enjoyed is "Nocturnes" set in an Umbrian village during WWII. These novels are strong, powerful stories in which the setting is almost another character.

Edward Skeplowich (sp.?) has written several terrific mysteries set among contemporary Venetian aristocrats. Magdalen Nabb writes mysteries set in Florence. There's a wonderful collection called "Desiring Italy" which has excerpts of writing by woman authors (Edith Wharton, George Eliot, and more contemporary writers.)

I'd love to hear about other fiction/non-fiction set in Italy that you've enjoyed.
 
Old Dec 6th, 1999, 09:02 AM
  #12  
Dona
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Carol,

Thanks so much for the fiction suggestions. I printed them out for future reference. Unfortunately, the only time I get to really read is when I'm in Italy!!

I love to look at movies that are set in Italy. I use it to plan vacations when I can. There's a "little" movie - I think it's "Only You" - with Marisa Tomei that is set in LeSireneuse in Positano - that's how I decided on that hotel. And I love "Dangerous Beauty" set in Venice. Even though it's set in the times of the Inquisition, the remarkable part about Venice is that it hasn't changed a bit!! LOL

And then of course, there's Summertime...

When things get really tough, I have to resort to Gidget or Troy Donohue in Rome. Scary, really!!

 
Old Dec 6th, 1999, 09:51 AM
  #13  
Carol
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Dona--Don't forget "Three Coins in a Fountain", "Roman Holiday" (omigod--Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck!), and "The Garden of the Finzi-Continis" (a lovely movie in Italian with subtitles, and a wonderful book in English translation by Giorgio Bassani).

Back to fiction--"The Leopard" by DiLampedusa is an exceptionally moving novel written by a Sicilian nobleman (dead now) which was also made into a not-too-bad movie with Burt Lancaster who was great.

And one more thing, Italian journalist Luigi Barzini wrote several extraordinarily illuminating, moving and entertaining collections of essays about his country and countrymen. My favorites are "The Italians," and "Memories of Mistresses." You really owe it to yourself to read these. Really.
 
Old Dec 6th, 1999, 11:24 AM
  #14  
lola
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Dare I mention Frances Mayes books on Tuscany? I love them for sense of place and felt (dreamed) I was living in the perfect Tuscan villa along with perfect her and her perfect fella.
 
Old Dec 6th, 1999, 01:23 PM
  #15  
nicki
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I read Frances Mayes books and daydream, I also like to play italian music, may sound corny but the mandolins always make me think of Italy. I have never been, but have wanted to go since I was eight years old and watched Three coins in the Fountain. I will get there!
 
Old Dec 6th, 1999, 01:32 PM
  #16  
BOB THE NAVIGATOR
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And do not miss " Tea with Mussolini"
now available at your local Blockbuster.
Great scenes in both Florence and in San
Gimignano---and a good movie too.
 
Old Dec 6th, 1999, 04:58 PM
  #17  
Joanna
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I also enjoyed "Desiring Italy". Can heartily recommend Peter Robb's "Midnight in Sicily" for those Siciliphiles. The lifestyle sections of bookshops have some great books about making your home in an Italian style - one is called "Bringing Italy Home" and another "Italian Style". They also give tips about buying items locally that suit the Italian style (i.e. ironwork, lion and classical type sculptures from garden centres).
 
Old Dec 7th, 1999, 06:19 AM
  #18  
Carol
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For Nicki--how about the names of your Italian mandolin music CDs? I love that sound also--it is so evocative.
 
Old Dec 7th, 1999, 06:31 AM
  #19  
howard
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Joanna, may I suggest you look into some Vivaldi CDs. He wrote several concertos for mandolin, which are quite beauiful. You'll recognize some them which have been used for background music on commercials.
I have one called "Vivaldi:Eight Favorite Concertos" on a Classical 90s label (a CBS label). Check out the Vivaldi section is any music store that has a decent classical department.
 
Old Dec 7th, 1999, 07:17 AM
  #20  
pam
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Buon giorno, mi amici! Since returning from our trip to Rome, Orvieto & Florence last summer, we've rented the movies Summertime, Roman Holiday, Spartacus, La Vita e Bella, and Tea w/ Mussolini. I also recommend Paul Hoffman's books. He used to be the NY Times bureau chief in Rome, and has also written about Umbria. Great anecdotes and observations. I also took a conversational Italian class at a local university. Our teacher was from northern Italy and VERY entertaining! I love Jolene's study group idea. And I've cultivated a friendship with an Etruscan-history scholar at our church. (She was so proud of my black-and-beige travel wardrobe last summer.) Yes, and thank goodness and Fodor's for this forum! And thank you all for what you've written. I look forward to more ideas (it seems we could have written the book which inspired this thread).
 

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