Last week author Barbara Conelli dropped by and wrote a fabulous post about being a travel writer. Today she’s taking a little time out from searching for Rome’s best secrets, to answer a few questions. She’s not staying here long and I don’t blame her … in fact I’m still working on beaming myself over to Italy to hang out there with her … Who else wants to come?
PS - Your new book, Chique Secrets of Dolce Amore, is filled with so many fantastic tips and secrets that only a native would know. How long did it take you to compile all of this delicious and delightful information?
Thank you very much, Patricia! It’s been an ongoing process. Milan has been my long-time companion and my home away from home. My grandma was born there, I lived, studied and worked there for years, and the city is full of memories of friends, loves and delicious adventures. I’ve been collecting those urban and gastronomic secrets for years, writing them down in my travel journals. I love becoming a part of the city and simply submerging myself in its vibe and magic. When I decided to write the books, it was actually hard to choose what to use and what to leave out. I could write five more book about Milan, and I’d probably still have lots of material left.
PS – The people who own and run the establishments you mention, must be delighted with the lovely write-ups in your book. Do you receive much feedback from them?
Yes! It’s so wonderful, and it touches my heart each time it happens. They send me beautiful e-mails, they are my fans on Facebook and follow me on Twitter, and many of them have become my friends. They appreciate the fact I have written about them with genuine love and interest, and seeing their joy is a wonderful reward. It always surprises me to hear from them, and it makes me happy.
PS - While this book focuses on Milan, your first book Chique Secrets of Dolce Vita, covered a wider range of places including Cinque Terre and Lake Como. Do you have a third book planned and is your summer stay in Rome giving us a hint as to the topic?
Yes! My next Chique Travel Book is going to be about Rome, and I have a feeling it will be even more delightful. I’ve been to Rome many times before, but this time I’m really exploring the city off the beaten track, and what I have found and discovered so far is just fantastic. I believe no book has ever shown Rome the way I’m going to show it to my readers.
PS – There are so many good things to talk about when the topic of visiting Italy arises and eating is very close to the top of the list. If you could only choose one dish to eat in an Italian restaurant, what would it be?
Oh, this is a really difficult question! I’m a gourmet, and food is my lifelong passion. I love eating out and I enjoy exploring new restaurants and dishes. Choosing just one is very hard, but right now I would say it is fish soup the way it’s made at a very special place in Rome. I’m not going to reveal it yet because it’s an upcoming topic for my blog, and maybe for my book as well, but it is absolutely one of the best dishes I’ve ever tasted, and one of the most amazing restaurants I’ve ever visited.
PS - The blog post you wrote last week for us was filled with excellent information for aspiring travel writers … and travellers, for that matter. When you look back at your early days, is there anything you would have done differently in getting to where you are today?
Thank you for this question! You know, I totally believe that at each moment we are exactly where we are meant to be. Every single moment crafts our personality, helps us grow and become better. Looking back, I can see that I could have made different choices on many occasions, but at the same time, I understand the impact that particular choice had on my life, and I would never ever want to change that life experience. It hasn’t always been easy, as I seem to have a knack for drama ;), but it has always been delicious and very Chique; and I hope to keep it that way.
Grazie mille,Barb! Thanks so much for taking time from your very exciting stay in Rome to chat with us. I check into your blog regularly to see what adventures you have been having and I’m sure many of my dear readers will be doing the same. If we can’t actually be there right now, we can have some fun that way! I can’t wait until you move on to Venice in August! Safe travels, my friend.
Have you, dear readers, visited Italy? What is your favourite memory from there? If you haven’t made it over there yet, is there a fantastic Italian restaurant near you? Tell us about it and share your favourite Italian dish. Hmm, I’m getting hungry just thinking about it and we have a magnifico Italian bistro within walking distance. Ciao for now!