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July 16, 2019

Cari amici,

“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. In Castiglion Fiorentino in Tuscany, middle school children read an Italian translation of my book’s account of the Friends of San Filippino’s campaign to save an abandoned Baroque chapel.

At IBS Books-Libraccio in Florence, I found a stack of copies of La Passione almost as tall as I am. At the Kent State University Florence Center in Palazzo Vettori, I spoke to several classes of study-abroad students who were just discovering la passione italiana.

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