Monday, June 20, 2011


Available Now
CHIQUE SECRETS OF DOLCE VITA, by Barbara Conelli, is a fascinating tour of Milan, Italy with vignettes of the city and its inhabitants. This book is 141 pages from Flagrans Press illustrated by Nela Vadlejchova. Ms Conelli gives the reader twenty-two vignettes of her favorite city, which may also be used as a travel guide, a brief history lesson, or a reader’s pleasant escape.

Ms Conelli says, “Living a dolce vita means living with an open heart and soul, indulging in life with all your senses. . . Let’s simply uncover all the sweet, passionate, and dark Milanese secrets that have up to now remained unrevealed. The chique secrets will teach you to live your own dolce vita no matter where you are in the world. Because la vita e bella, life is beautiful, and the most amazing wonders of this world often hide in the simplest things.”

Milan's La Scala Opera House
 Later, she writes, “Most of us keep pursuing the image of a perfect life, perfect job, perfect relationship, and a perfect bank account balance. We look around ourselves, watch others, compare ourselves to them, and we always want something more, something better. Ambitions and desire for a better life are definitely a healthy part of us, and engine that keeps pushing us forward and prevents us from stagnating. But sometimes we should just stop for a while and learn to enjoy the little, ordinary things. A beautiful summer morning, a good meal in nice company, or a trip to the mountains. All those small details that make us so happy. So while chasing the perfect life, we don’t forget the present one, which might not be so bad at all.”

Galleria Vittorio Emanuelle, Milan
 In addition to colorful Milanese residents, Ms Conelli reveals historic details. Since I love history, I was pleased to learn about Vittorio Emanuelle II, Padre della Patria (Father of the Land). Embarrassing to admit, but I had never read about this democratic king who unified Italy into a republic against the Habsburgs’ Austria. He turned Italian cities into urban centers that rivaled Paris and London.

I also enjoyed learning about Italian silk production started in the 12th century and which still continues on a small scale today. Who knew? Ms Conelli says that “When you buy a piece of silk here, it is not just a common fashion accessory that you can get anywhere in the world. It holds a piece of history, a piece of honest, patient work, and most of all, lots of love that local manufacturers have been giving to their beloved silk for hundreds of years.

CHIQUE SECRETS OF DOLCE VITA contained many more tidbits, but if I related them that would spoil the book for readers. This book will be of interest to readers who like traveling vicariously through a book or those who plan a trip to Milan.

Purchase this book in print or for Kindle at Amazon:

Please join me Wednesday for Barbara Conelli’s post on writing. Thanks for reading!


Barbara Conelli said...

Thank you so much for this lovely review. I'm glad you enjoyed reading my book!

Lu/Grace said...

This sounds like a fascinating book. Now I want to return to Italy!

Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

WOW the book sounds fantastic. You know how much I love spending time in foreign places. We've yet to get to Italy. Thanks for the heads up.

Vonnie Davis said...

Traveling in Europe is always a delight. The architecture is phenominal. Lovely post. Much luck to you.

Isabel Roman said...

I've always wanted to see Milan right after Venice that is. :) Great review, I'll have to check out the book. Thanks!

Jeanmarie Hamilton said...

Sounds like a great read! Thanks Caroline and Barbara Conelli! I enjoyed Milan even though it was a short trip many years ago. I think I'd enjoy this book about it. :-)


Margaret Tanner said...

Love the sounds of this book. I have been to Rome, just for the weekend while I was visitng my son in the UK. Loved it, but unfortunatley didn't get to visit anywhere else. Loved your pictures.



Barbara Conelli said...

Hi ladies! Thank you so much for commenting, I love your feedback! When you fall in love with Italy, it's forever - I know... Every woman should travel to Italy at least once in her life, and Milan is a great place to start!

By the way, if you're interested, I have a brand new and completely free 10-Day Virtual Tour: The Secrets Gems of Italy. I invite you to check it out, it's especially designed for women and my readers love it!

Have a Chique day! :)