A Passion for Audrey Hepburn

Who doesn’t love Audrey Hepburn? I certainly do—and I was tickled that Olivia Páez included LA PASSIONE in her blog on books for fans of Audrey Hepburn. Here is an excerpt on books that remind her of my personal Audrey Hepburn favorite, Roman Holiday:

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The Passion of the Etruscans

“Rome’s naughty neighbors to the North.”

This is how British author D.H. Lawrence described the Etruscans, an ancient people who settled in central Italy in the eighth century BC. Among pre-Roman civilizations, only the Greeks compared in wealth, power, and influence.

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You look at us with virgin eyes.” I wasn’t sure I was translating the Italian correctly, so the gentleman at one of my readings in Florence continued in English.

“We Italians focus on our country’s problems, and we lose sight of the beauty that surrounds us, the music and art that Italians created, our great patrimony. You remind us of who we are and what we can be.”

Presenting La Passione: How Italy Seduced the World in the country that inspired it brought many such touching moments.

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The Geology of Italian Passion

La passione italiana dates back to a time before time when a geologic frenzy carved a boot in the middle of the Mediterranean. Convulsing and colliding, tectonic plates thrust an ancient seabed so high that tiny crustaceans were trapped and fossilized in the Italian Alps. Lava seething within the earth boiled and bubbled to form a chain of volcanic cones stretching from central Italy to what would become the island of Sicily.

Even today the Italian earth trembles. The Apennines, running like a spine through the peninsula, still undulate, sometimes with devastating consequences. Europe’s only active volcanoes—Vesuvius, Stromboli, and Etna—rumble and spew.

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An Italian Interview about LA PASSIONE

“Strano e difficile a crederci, ma è proprio così! “ Strange and hard to believe, but that’s right!

This is how Italian journalist and blogger Veronica Triolo begins her post on an American writer who “con sorriso, grinta ed entusiasmo, si è appassionata al nostro paese” (with a smile, determination and enthusiasm, became passionate about our country).  This passion, she notes,“non è superficiale e non è basata sui soliti banali stereotipi” (isn’t superficial nor based on the usual banal stereotypes) but reflects years of study and research on every aspect of Italian culture: from history to art, music, fashion, cinema, food, wine and lifestyle.

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Italy’s Passion for Wine

My husband and I own a vine in Umbria. Not a vineyard, but a single vine (row 11, number 18), in Vigna Lorenzo at  Monte Vibiano Vecchio.

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