Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Italy’

IMG_1292

So, you think you have to forego your workouts when visiting Orvieto? Well, you’d be wrong. On top of lots of strolling, you can take a Zumba class with the great Oxana Voropinova at Persiede dance studio (along with ballet, jazz, etc). There’s also several yoga and pilates studios around town and the ‘the 2 Peppes’ (tennis pros) at Villa Mercede will hone your clay court tennis skills. Not sporty? Then take the ‘walks of all walks’ on the ‘Anello della Rupe”: An hour trek around the rock that will change your life! Read about it here. Orvieto is good for your health! Like! Share! Visit! 

 

#‎31daysofOrvieto‬ ‪#‎orvietoorbust‬ ‪#‎iloveorvieto‬ ‪#‎Orvieto‬ ‪#‎Italytravel‬ ‪#‎Italy‬

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

IMG_0448

Did you know that: 1) 2,500ish year-old Orvieto sits on volcanic tufo cliffs; 2) The Pope(s) slept here; 3) There’s an underground city with as many as 1,200 Etruscan caves and wells; 4) It was sacked by Julius Caesar’s Rome in 280 BC; and 5) The famous funicular railway was once operated by a water-ballast counterbalanced system?

Want to find out more? Come! Visit and Share the “31 Days of Orvieto” with your friends!

Read Full Post »

Death Logs In is the second book in E. J. Simon’s techno-thriller crime series. The first, Death Never Sleeps was published in 2013 and rose to #2 on Amazon Kindle, as well as appeared on numerous bestseller lists in the U.S. and abroad. Initially self-published, Simon/Zef began publishing Death Never Sleeps after it moved over 80,000 copies in its first year.

Unfortunately, I was unable to read the first book in the series because both copies mailed to me never reached my home in Orvieto. Ahhh, the Italian postal service…talk about a shady organized crime syndicate!

Death Logs In book cover

“Some of the most powerful people in the world want to kill Michael Nicholas. Only his brother, Alex can save him – the problem is that Alex is dead. It’s been almost a year since Alex Nicholas, a Queens based underworld Boss, was gunned down. After Alex’s brutal murder, Michael inherited not only his brother’s business – but his enemies. Michael is now a key player in a world he once feared. By day, he is the head of a Fortune 500 company by night, the CEO of Tartarus, one of the worlds largest illegal gambling operations.” 

Review of Death Logs In….

Thrillers and crime novels aren’t really my thing, but I wanted to keep an open mind as I began reading E. J. Simon’s newest novel, Death Logs In

Death Logs In has all the makings of a great crime/mob thriller. There’s protagonist, Michael “just when I though I was out, they pulled me back in” Nicholas – a reluctant gangster who was left to run his brother’s gambling empire after his death. Sindy Steele is a femme fatale bodyguard with more secrets than the Vatican has gold leaf, and Michael’s wife Samantha, who likes to shop but doesn’t much care for Michael and Sindy’s business association. The cast of characters are rounded-out by two meathead bookies from Queens, a whiney but deadly assassin stuck in exile at one of Rome’s finest hotels, and a gaggle of high-powered Catholic priests whose dealings have nothing to do with “God’s work”. It’s The Godfather-meets-Goodfellas-meets-The DaVinci Code

I had some trouble, initially, getting past the artificial intelligence premise on which the story is based. To be fair to the author, I’ve always been a bit of a skeptic – especially when it comes to future shock/conspiracy theories. If a Stephen Hawking had come to me personally to explain “AI” principle, I might be more receptive to the idea…but then again, maybe not.

The improbable plot aside, I also struggled with the schizophrenic quality of the storyline. Locations changed and jumped around a lot and some chapters were way too short, making the plot extremely difficult to follow. The sanitized dialog stuck out like a sore thumb – not one single F-bomb in a book full of mobsters? A novel about a criminal underworld should have a little edge.

Finally, the world-class destinations such as New York, London, Rome and Paris were underused. Scenes were invariably set inside restaurants, bars or hotel rooms instead of taking the reader on a clandestine gondola ride on the Grand Canal, a car chase through the streets of Rome, or a cliff-hanging murder scene atop the Eiffel Tower. It might have been contrived and cliché, but at least it would have been fun.

Regrettably, Death Logs In is a book I’m less than enthusiastic about. In my opinion, the author didn’t take the story of racketeering and church corruption quite far enough. But as I said earlier, crime thrillers aren’t really my thing…they could however, really be yours.

Meet the Author: 

E.J. Simon photo

E.J. Simon was the CEO of GMAC Global Relocation Services (a division of GM) and the Managing Director of Douglas Elliman, the largest real estate company in NY.

He is a consultant to many leading private equity firms and has held senior level positions at prominent financial services companies.

He is a world traveler, food enthusiast and lives in Connecticut.Death Never Sleeps is his first novel. His second novel, Death Logs In, will be available in October 2014.

Connect with him:  Website  ~  Facebook  ~  Twitter

 

CHECK OUT THE BOOK TRAILER:

Where to buy the book:

 Amazon.com

Barnes and Noble

Chapters Indigo

Death Never Sleeps – Amazon.it / Amazon.fr

Death Logs In – Amazon.it / Amazon.fr

TO READ OTHER REVIEWS OF Death Logs In click on the links below.

Tour Schedule:

Dec 12 – Monica Cesarato – review Death Logs In

Dec 17 – The Good Life France – review of Death Logs In / author interview

Dec 17 – Curiosity and a Carry On – review of Death Logs In

Dec 22 – Why Roam? – Book Spotlight / guest post

Dec 29 – The Good Life France – giveaway

Jan 5 – Young in Rome – review Death Never Sleeps

Jan 7 – Orvieto or Bust – review Death Logs In

Jan – Young in Rome – review Death Logs In

Jan – The Venice Experience – review Death Never Sleeps

Jan – The Venice Experience – review Death Logs In

Jan – Erica Firpo – review Death Never Sleeps

Jan – Erica Firpo – review Death Logs In

 

Italy Book Tours Logo jpeg 225 pixels

Italy Book Tours gets books in the hands of readers who love everything Italian. They offer professional virtual book tours to authors and publishers whose books are set in Italy, have an Italian theme, are written by an Italian author or translated from Italian. For more information you can contact Laura Fabiani at http://www.italybooktours.com.

 by Toni DeBella

Read Full Post »

IMG_0306

“From the author of Made in Italy comes a tale of artisanal tradition and family bonds set in one of the world’s most magnificent settings: Renaissance Venice.” 

 

I don’t know much about wine. I’m not an expert on classical art and, although I live in Italy, I’m the antithesis of a “foodie”. However, when it comes to giving my opinion about a glass of red, a painting in a gallery or the dinner on my plate, I’m quite certain of three things: 1) I know what I like, 2) I recognize beauty when I see it, and 3) I can tell when a meal tastes delicious.

It’s the same with a book. I’ve never actually written one, but I know a good novel when I read it.

Halfway into the first chapter of Laura Morelli’s The Gondola Maker, I found myself wondering if the author had a time machine. I suppose a historical novel should transport the reader to another time and place, but Ms. Morelli’s use of crystal-clear imagery and her microscopic attention to detail went above and beyond. I’d be putting it mildly if I said she’d done her homework.

The Gondola Maker’s story swirls around a young protagonist, Luca Vianello – a boy on the brink of adulthood. Born into a long line of gondola craftsmen, he works alongside his father and brothers in the family’s boatyard and never allows himself to imagine a future beyond the one that has been chosen for him. But following one single, blinding moment of rage, the direction of his life is altered forever and Luca must set out on an odyssey through the dark underworld of the Most Serene Republic of Venice. As he slowly picks up the pieces of his shattered life, he finds his true passion and destiny and, in the process of discovery, comes full circle.

As Laura Morelli spins her intriguing and authentic Renaissance tale, she brings to life the time-honored artisan trade of gondola making and reminds us that if not preserved, this centuries-old craft and others like it will be lost forever.

About the Author

View More: http://sarahdeshawphotographers.pass.us/laura-morelliLaura Morelli earned a Ph.D. in art history from Yale University, where she was a Bass Writing Fellow and an Andrew W. Mellon Doctoral Fellow. She has taught college art history in the U.S. and at Trinity College in Rome. She is the creator of the authentic guidebook series that includes Made in ItalyMade in France, and Made in the Southwest, published by Rizzoli. Laura is a frequent contributor to National Geographic Traveler and other national magazines and newspapers. A native of coastal Georgia, she is married and is busy raising four children. The Gondola Maker is her first work of fiction. 

Find her here website or on Facebook and Twitter.

 

I want extend my sincerest gratitude to Laura Fabiani of Italy Book Tours for inviting me to participate in my first book review event. Second, a huge “Grazie” to the author, Laura Morelli, for allowing me the privilege of reading and then sharing my thoughts about her novel. It takes talent, fortitude and sheer guts to write a book.  

 

AWARDS

IPPY Award for Best Adult Fiction E-book 

Finalist for the National Indie Excellence Award 

Finalist for the Eric Hoffer Award 

Shortlisted for the da Vinci Eye Prize 

WHERE TO BUY THE “The Gondola Maker”…

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Book Depository

About Italy Book Tours 

Italy Book Tours Logo jpeg 225 pixels

 

 

 

 

Italy Book Tours gets books in the hands of readers who love everything Italian. They offer professional virtual book tours to authors and publishers whose books are set in Italy, have an Italian theme, are written by an Italian author or translated from Italian. For more information you can contact Laura Fabiani at http://www.italybooktours.com.

Read more Italy blogger reviews of “The Gondola Maker”…

Tour Schedule for The Gondola Maker

Nov 3 – Studentessa Matta – review / giveaway

Nov 3 – Il Mio Tesoro – review / giveaway

Nov 4 – Packabook – review

Nov 4 – Venice from Beyond the Bridge – review

Nov 5 – Monica Cesarato – review / giveaway

Nov 5 – Seductive Venice – review

Nov 6 – Food Lover’s Odyssey – review / giveaway

Nov 7 – The Venice Experience – review / interview

Nov 8 – Hello World – review

Nov 9 – Orvieto or Bust – review

Nov 9 – Capturing Venice – review 

by Toni DeBella

Read Full Post »

As far back as I can remember I loved baloney sandwiches!  My childhood obsession was so famous that family, friends, and neighbors referred to me as “Toni Baloney”.  Undaunted by the nickname, I was actually quite proud to be so closely associated with my favorite pink, slippery and quintessentially American cold cut.  After all, “Oscar Mayer has a way with B-O-L-O-G-N-A.”

But as it happens, I grew up and had my first taste of baloney’s sophisticated Italian cousin, Mortadella, and I was a goner!  My boloney-eating days were over – this smooth, sweet and spicy, pistachio-filled deli roll is the “caviar” of lunchmeat.

I haven’t been to Bologna, Italy yet, but I am planning my pilgrimage once I’m settled in Orvieto.  The city of Bologna is famous for this finely ground, heat-cured pork salumi, produced there since the 14th century.  Suspected to have originally been a Roman sausage, Mortadella di Bologna has achieved the epitome of food recognition – it has a Protected Geological Indication status designated by the European Union to preserve the regional names of products.  In strict accordance with these delicious guidelines, a classic Mortadella di Bologna must be prepared with 15% evenly distributed squares of fat, no preservatives, fillers, or additives.  Naturale!

When in Italy I will be living-off Mortadella’s mouth-watering yumminessI’ll eat it for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and as a bedtime snack.  I’ll eat it between two pieces of bread, thinly sliced “as is” with a glass of wine, cubed, fried, moussed and spread, and stuffed into tortellini.  Any way you slice it…Mortadella e’ bella!  

P.S.  I’m thinking of changing my nickname.  How does “Toni DeMortadellaBella” grab you?

by Toni DeBella

 

Read Full Post »

“Nothing is as obnoxious as other people’s luck.”― F. Scott Fitzgerald

Envy is a malicious emotion in which a miserable and narcissistic person craves the misfortune of others and begrudges their success. From the Latin word Invidia, envy is considered so nefarious it’s ranked number six among the Seven Deadly Sins. Some days I admit it – I’m a sinner…I envy the entire population of Italy.  

 “Envy is for people who don’t have the self-esteem to be jealous.”― Benson Bruno

Jealousy, similar to envy, is often defined as “resentment against a rival, suspicion or fear of losing someone or something you love.”  Hummm…

You know, I am not going to allow myself to linger any longer in these emotional black holes.  When I find myself in this unhealthy state of mind, I’ll just remember that the merry-go-round of life spins and spins and there are more than enough brass rings to go around.  I’ll wait and be patient for I am about to come around again for another grab at the prize. Negative moods are neither good for your soul nor your skin. 

Envious or jealous is just no way to be.

by Toni DeBella

Read Full Post »

“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.”-C.S. Lewis

Every single one of us has our own unique and special mechanism for coping and strategizing our way through the world’s challenges.  I find that what works best for me is a random, shotgun-style approach to personal achievement.  I call it the “Spaghetti Theory”: throw everything you have at a predicament and see what sticks.

This philosophy encompasses a combination of the law of averages, blood, sweat and tears, and a bit of dumb luck. Maybe it works, maybe it doesn’t, but in less than two weeks I will be heading for Italy again – launching “Phase One” of my grand scheme. I am  so close that I can almost taste it. For nearly seven years I have been feverishly “flinging noodles” at the walls of life in a concentrated effort to reach my goal. I’ve been plotting, concocting, commiserating and essentially boring the living daylights out of my friends, family and even complete strangers.

“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” – Winston Churchill

Curiously, as my objective moved from the realm of fantasy into the universe of real and tangible possibility, an odd thing happened – I began to experience a disbelief that I could actually get what I want, followed by a paralyzing fear that perhaps once I get it, I might not want it any longer!  Here I am, standing on the precipice of my dream coming true and finding myself in such a discombobulated state of mind.  Of course you’ve heard of a fear of failure, but did you know that some folks actually suffer from a fear of success? After all the obsessing and preoccupation, could I honestly be afraid of crossing the finish line? …Nope, don’t think so.

Teetering atop the high-dive, I am ready to take the plunge into the deep-end. There is no way in hell I’m going to come this close to the prize, only to turn in retreat before getting my just desserts.  I owe it to myself and to the many friends who have already blazed the trail abroad or who are taking up the rear.  I am not so special. I am only one of many dreamers of an Italian life.

You can read the wonderful and inspiring stories of other dreamers/bloggers at: Renovating Italy, http://www.renovatingitaly.com; Destination Umbria, http://destinationumbria.wordpress.com/; Bagni di Lucca and Beyond, http://bagnidilucca.wordpress.com/; My Melange,http://mymelange.net/; Bleeding Espresso, http://bleedingespresso.com/; and Indulge – Travel, Adventure, & New Experiences, http://lesleycarter.wordpress.com/.



by Toni DeBella

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts

%d bloggers like this: