I am thrilled to announce the publication of my book: LA PASSIONE: How Italy Seduced the World.

Like any author, I’m eager for people to read my book. But with more than 8 million titles on Amazon alone, why choose mine? Let me offer seven reasons, based on my discoveries as I traveled through Italy in search of la passione italiana.


1. The places you’ll go:

The Aeolian islands, where I learned the danger of angering ancient gods. The food markets of Bologna in the “fat belly” of Italy. The rolling hills of Piedmont, home to Barolo and Barbaresco, the king and queen of Italian wines. The atelier of the Italian sisters who dressed the movies’ great beauties when Rome was “Hollywood on the Tiber.”

2. The people you’ll meet:
Venice’s premiere “erotic glass artist,” who breathes passion into molten glass. An archaeologist who has excavated through almost three millennia of ruins to the first settlement in Rome. The “flying baroness” who roared to international celebrity as Italy’s first female race car driver. The poor boy from Southern Italy whose passion for feet inspired him to become “shoemaker to the stars.”

3. The stories you’ll hear:
The lace-makers of Burano who saved their island from starvation, stitch by stitch. The ghost of the young Florentine who escaped from her tomb to “live twice” with her true love. The history of Neapolitan pizza. The singers, castrated as boys to preserve their high voices, who sublimated passion into song.

4. The tastes you’ll enjoy (vicariously):
Wine from a vineyard on an Umbrian hillside cultivated since centuries before Christ’s birth. Hand-made chocolate confections invented in Perugia by clandestine lovers. Balsamic vinegar aged in Modena for more than sixty years and drizzled over gelato. Passatelli, the pasta of cheese and breadcrumbs that I learned to make in a kitchen in Bologna.

5. The experiences you’ll share:
A pre-Carnevale parade on the oldest canal in Venice. A 24-hour Good Friday processions of mammoth altars crafted centuries ago and carried through the streets of a Sicilian town. Lunch of traditional bagna cauda with young wine-makers in the Langhe. A stroll through Cinecittà, the fabled “Factory of Dreams” that still inspires all who  “have cinema in their blood.”

6. The joy you’ll find:
An Italian-American woman’s inspiring campaign to save an abandoned chapel in the Tuscan town of Castiglion Fiorentino. Sleek road rockets and the roar of their engines at the Ferrari museum in Modena. Heart-shaped balloons on Valentine’s Day in Verona, home to Shakespeare’s Juliet and her Romeo.  Moonlight in Venice and fireworks over the Bay of Naples.

7. The lessons you may learn:
La passione italiana imparts simple but profound life lessons: Hold family close. Appreciate your senses. Cultivate compassion.  Share food and laughter with friends. Honor the sacred. Choose the bello over the brutto. Love without limits. Let the human spirit soar.

Whether or not you are Italian by blood or aspiration, have visited or dream of visiting Italy, love pasta and pizza (and who doesn’t?), let yourself by seduced by a passion that resonates in all our souls.

I look forward to sharing my Passione with you!

 Dianne Hales is the author of LA BELLA LINGUA: My Love Affair with Italian, the World’s Most Enchanting Language, MONA LISA: A Life Discovered, and  LA PASSIONE: How Italy Seduced the World. For more information on her and her Spring book tours, visit her website: diannehales.com.