Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Chique Secrets of Dolce Vita by Barbara Conelli

Chique Secrets of Dolce Vita by Barbara Conelli (Rated: C)
Flagrans Press
ISBN: 978-0982600412
Published April 2, 2011
Trade Paperback, 148 pages

This was a fun book to read. It made me smile because it reminded me of myself at eighteen when I was totally fascinated with Italy after a two month stay with my extended family in Rome. Conelli's love for Milan rivals my love for Rome, and so I understood her enchantment with all things “Milanese”. This feeling was contagious, making me want to go visit all the places she mentions in this cute book.

This is a quick read, interspersed with black and white sketches of the people and places Conelli introduces to us that add just the right amount of flare to her travel anecdotes. The author writes with a certain innocence mingled with an explicit joie de vivre, so although she describes everything with rose-tinted glasses, her love for the dolce vita permeates the pages, and I couldn't help liking her exuberant and positive outlook. It's the perfect book to read if you're feeling gloomy!

What I appreciated most about this book is that Conelli reminded me of how wonderful it is to take the time to appreciate one's heritage and culture. As she led me through the streets of Milan, from Lake Como to La Scala to Galleria of Vittorio Emanuelle and the winding alley streets, she shared the history of the people and places that shaped Milan, such as Mila Schon, the icon of the Milanese fashion world and Verdi, whose opera beginnings at La Scala were memorable to say the least.

If you like to travel or have a friend who likes to explore new places, this book will have them nodding in understanding of the love we can have for certain places on this beautiful globe. I will pass it on to my youngest sister who lives in Switzerland and often visits Italy. I'm sure it will spark in her the desire to pay Milan a visit.

About the Author:
Barbara Conelli is an internationally published author and Chiquenist on the mission to bring Fantastic Fearless Feminine Fun into women’s lives. In her charming, delightful and humorous Chique Books filled with Italian passion, Barb invites women to explore Italy from the comfort of their home with elegance, grace and style, encouraging them to live their own Dolce Vita no matter where they are in the world. Barb lives between New York and Milan, and as a real globetrotter, she’s always on the move, accompanied by her adorable and very spoiled beagle. To her, writing is like breathing, and she’s currently working on her new book.

You can visit her website at or connect with her at Twitter at or Facebook at

I will count this book toward the following challenges: Italy in Books Challenge, TwentyEleven Challenge

Disclosure: Thanks to the author and Pump Up Your Book Promotions for sending me this book for review. I was not compensated in any other way, nor told how to rate or review this product.

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  1. This does sound cute! I'm hoping to visit Italy next year and if things work out, I'll be wanting to read all about it.

  2. This sounds an interesting book. I love reading books where the author is truly passionate about their subject, it really brings whatever they're talking about to life.


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