A vibrant and enthralling historical novel about art and passion, The Miracles of Prato by Laurie Albanese and Laura Morowitz brings Italy in the era of the Medici to glorious life—as it tells the story of an illicit love affair between the renowned painter Fra Filippo Lippi and his muse, a beautiful convent novitiate. A magnificent blend of fact, historical color, emotion, and invention, The Miracles of Prato is a novel that will delight the many fans of Tracy Chavalier’s Girl with a Pearl Earring and Susan Vreeland’s Girl in Hyacinth Blue.
“Three Coins in a Fountain.” “Roman Holiday.” “The Bicycle Thief.” In many of the greatest movies ever made, the biggest star was Italy itself. Where Did They Film That?: Italy is a unique travel guide that invites the reader to explore the beauty and cultural riches of Italy through the universal language of cinema, showing readers how to find the exact locations where many of the most famous movies set in Italy were filmed — plus nearby attractions, museums, restaurants, shops, and must-experience slices of Italian life. The beautiful and historic sites immortalized in great films are the reader’s keys to experiencing the best in Italian travel, art, dining, and living. In addition, this book gives readers in-depth knowledge of the behind-the-scenes details of great films by placing their locations within the full context of their history and meaning to Italian culture. An irresistible combination of film history, travel guide, and the zest and seductiveness of la dolce vita, Where Did They Film That?: Italy is a new kind of travel guide that will turn Americans’ love of movies into a love of travel and new experiences.
In Italy, children traditionally sat at the table with the adults eating everything from anchovies to artichokes. Their appreciation of seasonal, regional foods influenced their food choices and this passing down of traditions turned Italy into a world culinary capital. But now, parents worldwide are facing the same problems as American families with the aggressive marketing of processed foods and the prevalence of junk food wherever children gather. While struggling to raise her child, Nico, on a natural, healthy, traditional Italian diet, Jeannie Marshall, a Canadian who lives in Rome, sets out to discover how such a time-tested food culture could change in such a short time. At once an exploration of the U.S. food industry’s global reach and a story of finding the best way to feed her child, The Lost Art of Feeding Kids will appeal to parents, food policy experts, and fans of great food writing alike.
The jacket copy defines PW Forecasts editor Rotella’s narrative as a “model travelogue,” but it’s much more. Even without a conventional conflict and plot, the author’s intensity and personal commitment to a country and its inhabitants cast a spell. Anecdotes range from comedic-a long unseen relative scolds Rotella’s father, “Thirty years and you don’t write!” – to curiously romantic, as when the author’s wedding ring slips off his finger while swimming and a “crazy aunt” exclaims, “That’s good luck. Now you will have to return!” Descriptions of delicacies such as soppressata, capicola, fettucine and rag – simmered with pepperoni incite a desire to be there just for the luscious, succulent meals, supporting Rotella’s belief that you simply can’t get a bad meal in Italy. Calabria is a particularly vivid character; readers learn how much the region has been through: spoiled by drought, destroyed by earthquakes and plundered by barons and kings. Rotella points out the effects of Mafia control in Bianca, a small, decrepit city, and the economic destruction it causes, without belaboring or stereotyping the Italian-Mafia connection. Playful moments are equally memorable, detailing petty fig heists from trees belonging to unknown farmers. Such likable protagonists as Rotella’s loving father, his wife, and guide Giuseppe are woven unobtrusively through the tale of a culture that counts among its children Tony Bennett, Phil Rizzuto and Stanley Tucci. The book is a love letter, and Rotella reinforces that feeling when he writes, “I am a romantic. With each trip back to Calabria, I’ve felt myself becoming not only more Calabrese but more Italian.” Readers, whether Italian or not, will find themselves captivated by so much meticulously drawn history and enchanting terrain.
“Italian-Americans of a new generation are discovering their homeland, and they could not ask for a better guide than Mark Rotella.” – Gay Talese
“The author’s intensity and personal commitment to a country and its inhabitants cast a spell . . . Readers, whether Italian or not, will find themselves captivated.” – Publishers Weekly
“Evocative, beautifully rendered travelogue/memoir by Publishers Weekly editor Rotella, recounting his adventures in Calabria, the toe of Italy’s boot and the land of his ancestry…” – Kirkus Reviews
“Calabria deserves to be discovered and Mark Rotella is an enthusiastic and compassionate guide, traveling from the top to the toe of this least-known region of Italy to uncover the people, the food and the folk traditions that make up his Calabrian heritage.” – Mary Taylor Simeti
From 1501 to 1505, Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo Buonarroti both lived and worked in Florence. Leonardo was a charming, handsome 50-year-old at the peak of his career. Michelangelo was a temperamental sculptor in his mid-twenties, desperate to make a name for himself.
Michelangelo is a virtual unknown when he returns to Florence and wins the commission to carve what will become one of the most famous sculptures of all time: David. Even though his impoverished family shuns him for being an artist, he is desperate to support them. Living at the foot of his misshapen block of marble, Michelangelo struggles until the stone finally begins to speak. Meanwhile, Leonardo’s life is falling apart: he loses the hoped-for David commission; he can’t seem to finish any project; he is obsessed with his ungainly flying machine; he almost dies in war; his engineering designs disastrously fail; and he is haunted by a woman he has seen in the market—a merchan’’s wife, whom he is finally commissioned to paint. Her name is Lisa, and she becomes his muse. Leonardo despises Michelangelo for his youth and lack of sophistication. Michelangelo both loathes and worships Leonardo’s genius. Oil and Marble is the story of their nearly forgotten rivalry. Storey brings early 16th-century Florence alive, and has entered with extraordinary empathy into the minds and souls of two Renaissance masters. The book is an art history thriller.