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La Bella Lingua in Capri

I’m very excited to announce a new program that brings together my passions for Italian, for writing, and for sharing what Italy has taught me about its greatest art: the art of living.

Cooking Vacations, a leader in customized travel in Italy, has invited me to host an extraordinary Literati Culinary Week, set for October 12 to 17, 2013. The beautiful island of Capri will serve as our “Writers’ Studio.”

Here you can walk in the footsteps of writers such as Graham Greene, Norman Douglas, Somerset Maugham, Thomas Mann and the great poet Pablo Neruda. But whether you are a professional writer or someone who simply wants to express yourself more effectively in words, I will work closely with you to expand and deepen your writing skills.

In daily sessions, we will focus on fundamentals essential to every genre of writing: how to choose and research a subject, how to create scenes and a narrative arc, and how to get the most out of the art of rewriting. You will return home with a finished piece of work, either a collection of very short stories or a narrative essay based on your stay in Capri.

Writing is a solitary pursuit, but coming together in a group provides a chance to see how others respond to your work, through kind but honest critiquing. Being away from your usual settings and routine, particularly in a setting as spectacular as Capri, allows you to tap into your creativity in ways you never have before.

Writers cannot live by words alone. And so we will pursue other Italian passions and pleasures, including a hands-on cooking class. Chef Maria, who specializes in local Caprese cuisine, will teach us how to create authentic southern Italian foods while learning the important cooking techniques for each recipe.

For inspiration, you can stroll through Capri’s charming streets. Stop off for an aperitivo in the piazzetta and watch the (very elegant) world go by. Visit the villas of the various writers who found their muse on Capri. Head out to the island’s many panoramic view points to soak up some of the world’s best loved views. Find a little corner of some well-tended garden and soak up Capri’s unique atmosphere as you gather your thoughts and draft your story.

We will be staying at the former home of a famous writer in the heart of Anacapri. We will begin each day there with a theme-focused breakfast session and come together again each evening for a three-hour meeting I’m calling our “Story Hours.” In between, we’ll allow time and opportunity for both inspiration and contemplation.

The group will be limited to a small, intimate number. Non-participating partners are welcome. For details about the program and pricing, click here. If you have specific questions about the Writers' Studio, you can reach me at dianne@diannehales.com or via the La Bella Lingua group on Facebook.

I look back on very moment I’ve spent on Capri as a magical one. I look forward to creating more unforgettable memories with some of you this fall.

Capri rocks
Dianne Hales is the author of LA BELLA LINGUA: My Love Affair with Italian, the World's  Most Enchanting Language.