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Posts from the ‘Book of the Month’ Category

How to Order an Italian Coffee in Italy by Sara Rosso | Book of the Month

February 2012 | Book of the Month

How to Order an Italian Coffee in Italy by Sara Rosso .

This month’s book is actually a short and fun instruction manual for everything coffee in Italy.  Complete with pictures and pronunciations, after reading this you will be able to walk into any cafe and order with confidence.  As a fellow coffee addict, I thought Sara’s guide is a must read for anyone getting ready to travel it Italy, and for only 2.99 on Amazon you really don’t have any excuse.

Follow this link to order.

Copyright 2012   Andi Brown,  Once in a Lifetime Travel

Magic Bridge by Thomasina Burke | Book of the Month

January 2012 | Book of the Month

Magic Bridge by Thomasina Burke.

Thomasina Burke owes me two nights good sleep.

That’s right Tommey, you heard me.

reading travelI decided to start reading Magic Bridge in the middle of my work rotation with sick kids at home and only two weeks before Christmas.  Not the best decision I’ve ever made.  A series of more bad choices shortly followed.  Those included (but were not limited to) inadequate hygiene, dinners lacking nutritional value and usually involving the microwave, dirty laundry pile diving and staying up until the wee hours of the night.  All because I became absolutely obsessed with this book and would do anything to sneak in a couple of pages.

If I could have pawned my kids off for the day at a decent price, believe me I would have done it.

Magic Bridge is the perfect storm of all the things I love.  Travel.  Love.  Human spirit overcoming obstacles.  Heartbreak.  Tragedy.  Healing.  At times reading this book made me want to get on a plane and go somewhere, then at the next moment all I wanted to do was hold my family tightly in my arms.  Without giving away too much, the main character overcomes her emotionally crippling childhood through the love of a lifetime.  Together they travel the world before being torn apart by death.  She must again find her inner strength as she fulfills her final promise to him and returns to their special places alone to release his ashes.

This was an amazing book by an amazing woman and first time author.  And if that was not enough, Thomasina will be generously donating 20% of her proceeds to Save Vernazza to help with their rebuilding efforts.

To purchase your copy of Magic Bridge click here

Copyright 2012   Andi Brown,  Once in a Lifetime Travel

A Thousand Days in Venice by Marlena de Blasi

December 2011

A Thousand Days in Venice by Marlena de Blasi.

Marlena de BlasiThe first book of several chronicling the author’s adventures in Italy after falling madly in love with the ‘stranger’ in Venice.  She writes about the joys and frustrations of living in Italy (and with an Italian).  Marlena is also a cook, and her descriptions of the market and meals makes this book exceptional.  She has included some mouth-watering recipes and also her favorite things to do in Venice, priceless advice I have used in my travels there.

I was lucky enough to have met Marlena twice while visiting Orvieto.  Once as I past her in a narrow alley leading to the city’s center and again as I darted back and forth in front of the cafe where she was enjoying a coffee after furtively stalking her.  Alright, so I might not have held an actual conversation with her.  She had a commanding presence, dressed to the nines in black and in full make up.  In a rare moment of intimidation I was unable to speak to her.   But in my defense, Marlena is an extremely private person.  She is rumored to give two cooking lessons a year but the information is by word of mouth only.

100 Places in Italy Every Woman Should Go by Susan Van Allen

November 2011

100 Places in Italy Every Woman Should Go by Susan Van Allen.

italyI LOVE LOVE this book.  With winter about to settle in, every woman needs a copy of this book to snuggle up with and imagine they were in Italy.  The author has created the perfect paring; one part guidebook and the other great storytelling.  Many of the places are ones I have been to and her writing brings it all back to me.  If you can’t travel, Susan’s book is the very best next thing.

You can also check out her website and blog for more information.

The cover alone is what caught my eye and had me daydreaming about some of my favorite days in Italy.


Bella Vista

October Book of the Month: Playing for Pizza

October 2011

Italy, Italian football, John GrishamPlaying for Pizza by John Grisham  I don’t know about you, but football fever is in full swing at our house.  More specifically fantasy football fever.  I thought I would list this book in honor of all of those people out there diligently trading, scheming and clawing their way to the top of their pretend….I mean fantasy……leagues.

I’m sure every one of you has heard, read or watched one of the many John Grisham books dealing with some form of the law (or lack thereof)…and this delivers once again.   It is an easy yet entertaining read about a washed up quarterback playing for a gruff league in Northern Italy.


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