Thursday, August 16, 2012

Barbara Conelli "Chique Secrets of Dolce Amore" Book Review

A Gem Of A Travel Book For Your Soul


Buy On Amazon Paperback and Kindle 

Follow Barbara's tour on Women On Writing


The magic of Italy came to me twice within a few weeks. The first time through WOW! Women On Writing with a copy of Barbara Conelli's delightful book on Milan, Chique Secrets of Dolce Amore, to read and review on my Book Talk Blog today.  A few days later I became a host mother to a foreign exchange student from a small town outside of Milan. I find this coincidence lovely and a sign from the universe a trip to Italy may be in my future! If I can only find a sitter for my six dogs!

Barbara Conelli's book is a charming love story to Milan. It is a travel book for the soul. While sharing her vision of her beloved city with the reader, she pulls you in with sweet vignettes. Each chapter is a small gem, like a portrait painted on canvas. Barbara's canvas is her book and she uses words, instead of brushes, to paint her scenes.

At only 158 pages, the book is a delicious feast for the reader. The illustrations are simple sketches drawn by Nella Vadlejchova and compliment the charm of Barbara's writing. This is an intimate book full of passion and life.

The author shares her knowledge of the history of many aspects of Milan, from secret courtyards, to the fashion district Quadrilatero d'Oro - or Golden Quadrangle, to buying panettone at Marchesi's.

The best panettone can be bought only at Marchesi's, the author shares this secret with us. There are three legends and a blessing attached to this pastry. We can choose which to believe. You can buy it by weight on any day of the year, but Barbara suggests you first taste it on February 3rd, on the feast of St. Biagio. On this day it has magic powers. Read further and find out why. Marchesi's has been in the same location since 1824.

Dinner at Chandelier in Via Broggi 17, brings more than a meal. The restaurant opened in 2003 and the setting changes right before your eyes. Once a year, in September, all the furniture and decorations are up for sale. The restaurant is full of the finest and most exotic antiques, but its owner changes everything annually, so the space can evolve and grow and life energy can flow through the restaurant continuously.

The chapter on Pizza was one of my favorites, because it connected me to my new exchange student from Italy in an unexpected way. Barbara writes, Modern pizza, the way we know it, was created in 1889 by Neapolitan cook Raffaele Esposito in honor of Queen Margherita of Savory. He garnished it with tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil so that his pizza glared with the colors of the Italian flag, and called it Pizza Margherita. When I asked my student if she liked pizza, she grabbed her hands and the words rolled off her tongue, Pizza Margherita. I knew what she meant! We hugged each other in excitement.

It is little tidbits as those above that make this book a treasure to read. There are a few recipes you might like to try. This is a book to read again and again when you feel the need for a journey and have to stay close to home.  "Chique Secrets of Dolce Amore" is a perfect place to stop and breath in the delights of a Milan written by an author who shares her heart with us.

Author Bio:



Barbara Conelli is an internationally published author, seasoned travel writer specializing in Italy, and Chiquenist on the mission to bring Fantastic Fearless Feminine Fun into women's lives. In her charming, delightful and humorous Chique Books filled with Italian passion, Barb invites women to explore Italy from the comfort of their home with elegance, grace and style, encouraging them to live their own Dolce Vita no matter where they are in the world. Read more about Barbara on her Author Amazon Page.



For free book excerpts and weekly Italian gifts visit Barbara’s website at http://barbaraconelli.com/. Sign up to follow her blog and you won’t miss any scrumptious travel stops!


I was given a copy of this book to review by WOW! I loved this book, as you can tell, and look forward to buying a copy of Barbara Conelli's companion book on Amazon, Chique Secrets of Dolce Vita.