I once asked an architect turned chef turned restauranteur in Florence about the passion that had changed her life.

“We do not choose our passion, signora,” she replied. “Passion chooses us.”

I understood. Italy chose me.

More than three decades ago, shivering in a frigid Swiss rail station, I impetuously switched trains and headed south to a sun-kissed country I’d never visited. I had no reservations, no itinerary, no inkling of what I might discover. The last thing I expected was to fall in love, but fall I did.

Returning to Italy year after year, I became appassionata, a word that dates back to the fourteenth century and translates as “taken by passion.” I didn’t fight this sweet seduction. I indulged it, embraced it, delighted in it. Over time a passion for Italy transformed my life and inspired the three books shown below.

This website celebrates Italy’s passions—for language, history, traditions, art, music, food, wine, fashion and film. I hope you visit often. Be sure to check out my blog, “A Passion for Italy,” where I’ll be posting the latest news on my books and all things Italian.

You can view praise for La Passione, along with some recent articles and interviews.

“Hales’ own love of Italy shines so brightly you’ll have no choice but to feel your own passion for Italy burning, too.”
Conde Nast Traveler
“10 Gifts for the Traveler Who Can’t Get Enough of Italy” (read more)

New Book

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New York Times

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An Amazon “best book of the year”
Translated into six languages

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