What a lovely name for a lovely book! Chique Secrets of Dolce Vita by Barbara Conelli is part travel guide and part guide to life. It is reminiscent of Room With a View, one of my all time favorite movies,where you are swept away by the gorgeous Italy and love. In this book, Conelli masterfully details Milan and the sheer beauty of the Milanese lifestyle and point of view.
How can I not love a book that starts with this, “To live a dolce vita means living with an open heart and soul, indulging in life with all your senses. It means having the eyes to see real beauty, having the nose to semll intoxicating scents, having the ears to hear dreamy sounds, having the mouth to taste delicate flavors, having the body to perceive soft sensations. It means being aware of yourself, of your emotions and desires. It means finding happiness in ordinary yet unique things.”
For a person who likes to find great quotes in books, this book was a Veal Milanese feast for me. Pour a Chianti and enjoy these–
“Nowhere else can you see so many women enjoying their day alone without needing the company of a man or some girlfriends.” (I am a regular solo diner at the sushi bar so I loved this!)
When describing Carla, a thirty-five year old friend, Conelli writes,” Carla simply doesn’t worry about biological clocks, nuptials or relationships. Probably thanks to that, she doesn’t lack “fidanzati” boyfriends and lovers.”
When analyzing the dynamically charged love affair of Giovanna and Francesco, Giovanna’s response.. “She didn’t think their relationship was that exceptional. She was just happy in an absolutely simple manner and had never really analyzed why it was so.”
Conelli points out that Milanese women look great in anything. “It is not because of their sophisticatedly unadorned style or because they have a special, secret recipe for charm. There is only one very simple reason: Italian women do not flaunt their clothes but themselves. They do not doubt their immense female power and they do not worry about pseudo-imperfections. “
Me thinks American women need a trip to Milan!
And finally, when discussing the beautiful Bellagio.. “Because Bellagio is a magical, sunlit little town where there is not time for trouble or fears. Its inhabitants simply have more important and more pleasant thiings to do. A long time ago, they decided that in Bellagio, there was no room for the worries of everyday life and they have therefore been avoiding them thoroughly with grace and ease.”
To this, I say Salute and encourage us all to have no room for the worries of everyday life!
Barbara Conelli provided a review copy of this book for this post. All opinions are my own.
What are you reading and where are you going?