Tag: italy

Andrea Camilleri, Creator of Inspector Montalbano, Dies at 93

Sad news for fans of detective literature. Andrea Camilleri, one of Italy’s most popular authors, has passed away at ninety-three. Camilleri was the creator of Inspector Montalbano, a detective of Sicilian descent who solves cases in his native country of Italy. The series has been noted for its immense popularity, running over two dozen novels for many years, translated in over thirty countries. The series has proven a bestseller, with over 30 million copies sold worldwide. The series won Camilleri the International Dagger award, an award for the best Crime Novel of the Year.


Image Via BBC 4 


According to The Guardian  Andrea Camilleri went into cardiac arrest in June and was in poor health in the hospital. He passed away under the care of doctors in Rome, pronounced with heart failure after his passing. Camilleri’s books were known for their extensive political commentary, Camilleri not shying away from addressing current, often controversial topics in his detective stories. His targets have varied far and wide, from the mafia and the Vatican to political figures such as Silvio Berlusconi and George W. Bush. On the mafia specifically, he was quote as saying:


“I believe that writing about mafiosi often makes heroes out of them. I’m thinking of The Godfather, where Marlon Brando’s superb performance distracts us from the realisation that he also commissioned murders. And this is a gift that I have no intention offering to the mafia.”


The Montalbano novels were adapted into a highly successful television series of the same name. The series has been running since 1999 and has also generated controversy for its controversial political commentary, such as recently with its pro-migrant messages.

The legacy of the detective novels will live on, with the series incredibly popular and inspiring dozens of Italian authors to follow in Andrea Camilleri’s footsteps.



Featured Image Via BBC 

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



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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.





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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





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