Jul 132012
Chique Secrets of Dolce Amore by Barbara Conelli
Published by: Flagrans Press
Publication Date: April 30, 2012
ISBN-10: 0982600437
ISBN-13: 978-0982600436
Pages: 158
Review Copy from: WOW
Edition: Kindle
My Rating: 3

When we talk about “the city of love”, most of us immediately think of Paris, Venice, Rome or another famous metropolis whose romantic stories we know from movies and novels. But to Barbara Conelli, none of them are the real city of love. To the author, love doesn’t mean passionate gestures, big promises of eternal devotion, ardent embraces, torrid kisses, or stormy arguments followed by even stormier reconciliations.

To the author, love means something completely different and much simpler.
The smell of morning cappuccino and fresh pannetone at Pasticceria Marchesi. A
brisk stroll through the awakening city and sensual curves of gold shadows on the wet paving of Via della Spiga. Joyful shouts of bohemian artists and their graceful muses at Fornace Curti. A crispy panzerotto savored in the company of cantankerous pigeons on the piazzetta of San Fedele. Old furniture stores in narrow streets and adorable trinkets she can never resist. The tinkling of a tram from 1929 with uncomfortable wooden seats and a hundred-year-old conductor. Sublime flamingos and peevish peacocks in an emerald-green garden that has never been owned by anyone. Remote nooks and crannies whose secrets have been revealed only to her and the few ghosts with aristocratic hearts who appear in them from time to time. Visionary dreams, inextinguishable hopes, the desire to live, the courage to create, the strength to grow.

To the author, love means all this and much more. This and much more is
what she receives from the city that makes you fall in love a hundred times a day,
breaking your heart over and over again, only to make it beat faster five minutes
later. Milan. Barbara’s city of love. The city she has adored since the year dot
because it’s just like her: it has dozens of faces, it laughs and cries at the same time, it’s vain, unpredictable, and you never know what mood it wakes up with.

Join Barbara Conelli and submerge yourself in the secrets of this magical city
that has been breathing love for centuries. Love that is dignified, childish, creative, treacherous, passionate, painful, forgiving, crazy, insane, unbridled, endless, fleeting, unfaithful, platonic, carnal, hateful, desperate, volatile, conceited, and divine. The kind of love whose chalice you quickly drain, so that on the next corner, you can reach for another one, even more delicious and intoxicating.

My Thoughts and Opinion:
I just returned from Milan, Italy but without the usual traveling inconveniences of packing, unpacking, airport security and the anxiety due to a very long flight, which I admit, I’m not fond of.

Barbara Conelli takes the reader on vacation with her graphic and dynamic descriptions of Milan in a detailed picturesque narration. A quick read but full of a resplendent portrayal of the people and sites of Milan. It is quite evident of the author’s love for this city of amore. She takes the reader through the streets and presents the landscapes such as museums, the fashion district including Tiffany’s, restaurants which include a couple of recipes, the trams one mode of transportation, cafes, fine arts such as paintings, sculptures, and even ballet studios. And introduces the people behind these institutions. This would be a very handy travel guide, if you had plans on visiting, as she shares the non tourist sites. Or if you want to escape in your mind and the comfort of your home. If you haven’t traveled to Milan, you will want to after reading this book.

I received a copy of this book, at no charge to me,
in exchange for my honest review.
No items that I receive
are ever sold…they are kept by me,
or given to family and/or friends.

(2012 Challenges: Eook, FreeReads, Where Are You, 52 in 52, Outdo Yourself, 100+)

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