Tag: italy

A Library On Wheels Is Helping Children In Italy Read More

It can be hard for some kids to get access to books to read. But one man in Italy may have found a solution to this problem.


According to the BBC, Retired schoolteacher Antonio La Cava has created the Bibliomotocarro, a three-wheeled van that also functions as a mobile library. He uses his van to travel to remote villages in Basilicata, Italy to help young children learn the joys of reading.


La Cava stated that he believes fostering a growing interest in reading is important for children.


“Carrying out such action has a value, not only social, not only cultural, but has a great ethical meaning.”


La Cava hopes that the more attention is Bibliomotocarro gets in the news, the more younger people will be encouraged to read.


You can read more about the van and its programs here.


Featured Image Via La Proposta News

Books Set in Italy

5 Books My Trip to Italy Inspired Me to Read

It was only a couple of days ago that I arrived back from an amazing three week trip in one of the most beautiful countries in the world. It lasted for twenty-one days, but on the first day I stepped off the plane I was in love. The rolling hills dotted with Cypress trees, the crowds of effortlessly attractive people, and the food made with such care and love. I was in awe that a place like this could exist and I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes! But of course, the book nerd in me needed to take it a bit further.


I’ve been inspired by all that was around me and now I’m on the hunt for a good book to cure my post-holiday blues. Preferably, one set in Italy. Here are five books that might be my next read and maybe yours too.




1. Call Me by Your Name by Andre Aciman



 Image Via Amazon


We’ve reported on it, we love it, and we can’t get enough of it. Call Me By Your Name follows the slow blossoming then rapid romance between a teen and the University student who stays at his family’s summer home in Italy. The two young men are overcome with feelings and desire with no regard for the consequences of their love. A true love story.




2. The Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Arnim



 Image Via Amazon


Here we have four different women,yearning to escape the rain and clouds of London and  make it to the warm, golden sun of the Italian coast. Together they decide to book a trip to live in a medieval Castle right in the heart of the Mediterranean. For the few weeks they’re there changes, romance, and life lessons occur in the warmth of springtime. For a story of rediscovery, this is it.
3. My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante



 Image Via Amazon

In the 1950s in a poor village on the outskirts of Naples, two best friends are trying to live through post-war Italy. They begin life in their beautiful village with their families, then the novel follows them over the span of 60 years. From love, to marriage, to becoming wives and mothers, these two women remain true to their winding paths and strong friendship.



4. The Birth of Venus: A Novel by Sarah Dunant



Image Via Amazon


Alessandra Cecchi is only fifteen-years-old when her prosperous merchant father brings a young painter in their home to design their palazzo walls in Florence. With the young man’s talent, spirit, and mind, she begins to fall in love, overcome with his abilities. However, her hopes are shattered when her father arranges for her to marry a much older and wealthier man. With the turbulence of a city divided with art, religion, and violence, her love is is not always easy. But her feelings for both men grow as she attempts to understand the passionate love for the young artist. Love, art, and history in Florence are the central focus.





Image Via Amazon


A sweet true story whose movie I love so much, this journey has everything you could want. Frances Mayes, a published poet and travel writer as well as gourmet cook, decided to take a leap in her life one day. After flying to the breathtaking Tuscany to purchase the abandoned Bramasole villa, we follow her story of fixing it up and rebuilding her own life someplace new. From the recipes inside to the push to change your life, Mayes’s story is sure to inspire anyone who reads it.



Featured Image Via Amazon

Italy quotes

10 Quotes to Make You Fall Deeply in Love with Italy

Maybe I’m biased as I am half, but the Italian language is one of the most beautiful I’ve ever heard. The way it rolls off the tongue and flows from word to word with passionate little inflections is indeed quite lovely. Plus I’m a sucker for The Lizzie McGuire Movie. No, you may not judge me.


So, naturally, it’s expected that with a language that gorgeous, the literature is even more breathtaking. I’ll be taking a trip there this summer and my new mission is to read up on as much Italian lit and poetry as possible and eat all the spaghetti I can. And what better time to start than the present right? We’ll get to the pasta later. For now I’ve collected quotes about the magnificent Italia that will have you saying bellissima.


1. “You know, people come to Italy for all sorts of reasons, but when they sat, it’s for the same two things.”
“Love and gelato.”

― Jenna Evans Welch, Love & Gelato


2. “You may have the universe if I may have Italy”
― Giuseppe Verdi


3. “First of all, let’s get one thing straight. Your Italy and our Italia are not the same thing. Italy is a soft drug peddled in predictable packages, such as hills in the sunset, olive groves, lemon trees, white wine, and raven-haired girls. Italia, on the other hand, is a maze. It’s alluring, but complicated. It’s the kind of place that can have you fuming and then purring in the space of a hundred meters, or in the course of ten minutes. Italy is the only workshop in the world that can turn out both Botticellis and Berlusconis.”
― Beppe Severgnini, La Bella Figura: A Field Guide to the Italian Mind


4. “Italian cities have long been held up as ideals, not least by New Yorkers and Londoners enthralled by the ways their architecture gives beauty and meaning to everyday acts.”
― Rebecca Solnit, Wanderlust: A History of Walking


5. “Venice, it’s temples and palaces did seem like fabrics of enchantment piled to heaven.”
― Percy Bysshe Shelley


6. “Rome seems a comfort to those with the ambitious soul of an Artist or a Conqueror.”

― Pietros Maneos, Poems of Blood and Passion


7. “Italy and London are the only places where I don’t feel to exist on sufferance.”
― E.M. Forster

8. “Who can resist sleep at two or three in the afternoon in these sunlit parts of the Mediterranean?”
― André Aciman, Call Me by Your Name


9. “The Tuscan countryside whizzed by in a kaleidoscopic whirl of shapes and colors. Green grass and trees melded with blue sky, purple and yellow wildflowers, peachy-orange villas, brown-and-gray farmhouses, and the occasional red-and-white Autogrill, Italy’s (delicious) answer to fast food.”

― Jenny Nelson, Georgia’s Kitchen 


10. “In America, one must be something, but in Italy one can simply be.”
― Pietros Maneos, The Italian Pleasures of Gabriele Paterkallos





Featured Image Via Business Insider

dr seuss

5 Literary Locations to Give You the Travel Bug

If you’re anything like me then you might think to yourself, “There are so many things to do and places in the world to see, how will I ever get around to it all?” Luckily for us, we have books to help ease our wallets and escape to new places without the pressure of leaving our responsibilities behind.


Of course, in an effort to help us escape our droll lives, I find that it simultaneously makes me eager to visit these far-off lands. The map I’ve marked, mentally, is filled with different literary pins of locations I dream of seeing one day. Here are my top five literary dream destinations.


1. Paris




I am a huge fan of French literature in particular, and one of my all-time favorite novels is the 1831 novel by Victor Hugo, Notre Dame de Paris (more commonly known to English-speaking readers as The Hunchback of Notre Dame). I dream of one day approaching that beautiful and ancient cathedral, caressing its stonework with my unworthy hand, and hearing Hugo’s prose ring through my head as I say a silent “thank you” to one of my literary heroes. On top of my own personal love for Victor Hugo and for Hunchback, I also want to visit the city where so many Modernist writers took refuge away from their native lands.


2. Rome 




As a Shakespeare enthusiast, there is nothing I would enjoy more than having the opportunity to tour the country where countless of his plays were set. Romeo and Juliet, Julius Caesar, The Merchant of Venice, Taming of the Shrewhave all found homes within the Italian landscape. Although I would be eager to tour the entire peninsula, if I had to pick one location based upon one of Shakespeare’s plays, I would have to go with Rome because of how much I thoroughly enjoyed reading Julius Caesar, as well as being incredibly fascinated by Roman history. To see the ruins of a world that was already ancient when Shakespeare was writing would be to stand in the glory of what humans are capable of accomplishing. 


3. Dublin




I could very well be one of the few people alive that will genuinely tell you that I love James Joyce. I loved DublinersI loved Portrait of the Artist as a Young Manand I even loved UlyssesJoyce left Dublin when he was still a young man, and he spent the rest of his life touring Europe before settling in Paris as an ex-patriate of Ireland. Dublin was still his home, however, and all of his literature is set in the city regardless of how long it might have been since he had last inhabited it. Today, Dublin pays massive tribute to Joyce, and I wish for the chance to walk the streets and see the sites that he so vividly recalled in Ulysses. 


4. Salem




As someone who delights in horror and Halloween, I am ashamed to admit that I have never been to Salem, Massachusetts. On top of being a haven of history, it’s also been the setting for so many books, movies, and plays. One of the first stories that comes to mind is Arthur Miller’s play, The Crucible. The story itself is an allegory for the American fascination with catching Communists during the 50s, but uses the Salem Witch Trial to exemplify this point. Aside from actual literature, though, is the simple fact that so many stories concerning these witch trials and the horrible ways witches were…dealt with have been passed down, orally, through the years. I imagine visiting the New England town during a crisp autumn weekend in October, right before all of the leaves have changed and fallen to the ground. 


5. Oxford




I must say that I am a humongous fan of J.R.R. Tolkien, and have always envisioned visiting the place that he called “home” for a large portion of his life. Oxford is the place where he wrote The Lord of the Ringsand it’s also the place where he eventually died. Although Tolkien was actually born in South Africa, he was raised and lived his entire life in England. The small cottage he inhabited is apparently marked by a simple plaque, but regardless, 20 Northmoor Road is a location that I would be more than honored to visit. In addition to his famous trilogy and The Hobbit, Tolkien also translated various early Anglo-Saxon texts such as Beowulf and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, and his translations rank amongst my favorites. 


Perhaps one day I will stop spending all of my money on books and food, and actually have the opportunity to save up and visit all of these places rather than simply read about them!




Feature Image Via Amazon