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Chique Secrets of Dolce Vita Paperback – April 2, 2011

10 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


A very charming book, written in a warm and friendly way, making the tales and places come alive and attract the reader even more. Barbara has captured Italian spirits very well. Her passion for Milan comes across clearly. --M. J. Hooper, Editor

In this book, Conelli masterfully details Milan and the sheer beauty of the Milanese lifestyle and point of view. American women need a trip to Milan! --Andrea Katz, Great Thoughts

From the Author

Dear Reader - Dear Chique Dolce Vita Soulmate,

Italy is the country where my grandma was born, where I first fell in love, where I was first kissed, where I bought my first red stilettos, and where I made my first scrumptious cannelloni. There are my friends, acquaintances, aunts, cousins, favorite stores, restaurants, people, and dogs. My repeated encounters with Italy are ardent, thrilling, exciting, and unique every single time. Its streets are full of old loves, presents loves, and the expectation of future loves. In its shadows there is laughter, joy, delight, and emotions. Its embrace is passionate and its kisses are endless. Italy is a sensual lover, a devoted friend, and a loving family. It is a place where I get lost and find myself at the same time. Where I'm different, yet each time myself, always the same and yet each time, newborn.

Chique Books are an invitation. An invitation to join me, travel with me, experience Italian adventures and meet the fascinating women that have created the face of Italy. To see places off the beaten track where the authentic Italian heart is still beating.

Let me guide you through all the magical places of Italy with their simple yet amazing people and stories, through the present and the past of mysterious cities, and through the country I've always been in love with. If you want to switch off just for a while and submerge yourself in stories that engage all your senses and take you on an adventurous journey to the beautiful, Chique unknown, these are the books for you. If you're a passionate traveler with a sense of adventure, you will enjoy them even more.

It is my deepest and most sincere wish to bring a piece of Chique Dolce Vita into your world through the pages of my books. With love from me to you.

Be Chique!

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 148 pages
  • Publisher: Flagrans Press (April 2, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0982600410
  • ISBN-13: 978-0982600412
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,667,652 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Barbara Conelli is a travel writer, photographer, radio hostess, polyglot and lifelong nomad. Blessed with ample enthusiasm, energy and stamina, she is always on the move, embracing her free spirit and restless nature. Barb lives passionately between New York and her worldwide adventures. She is addicted to dark chocolate with almonds, and on her travels she collects shoes, bracelets, paintings, experiences, and extraordinarily charming men. With so much to do and enjoy in this beautiful world, she's not planning to kick the bucket until she's at least 100 years old. Her motto is: "You have one life. Live it to the fullest."

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Chatham on July 13, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
Chique Secrets Of Dolce Vita is a tale of travel and life stories about the exceptional women of Milan and living dolce vita.

Author Barbara Conelli shares with the reader the life and people of Milan, Italy and its surrounding countryside. Portions of the novel deal with the historical aspects that have created the beauty that is unsurpassed in Milan. We learn that the women who make up Milan are the cities life and strength and the city shines as a glorious woman herself, with many hidden facets, all waiting to be explored.

Dolce Vita is a bohemian lifestyle, where one is free to express themselves as wish as long as it harms no one. There is no rhyme or reason to living dolce vita other than your own character and style that creates the essence of you. In Milan, Como, Bellagio and other quaint and charming places around the seaside of Italy, you will learn of its history, from its renaissance artists to its famous wines to the expensive spice of Saffron just to name a few.

You will hear of her people, her delicacies, and the heartbeat that continues to breath throughout the land: the etiquette, the chique, the rich and the poor all intermingle with one another, blending together a tapestry of life that will leave you wanting to pack your bags and experience the lifestyle of those who call Milan their home. It will leave you wanting to live your own dolce vita!!

I thought this was a very easy read, that was told with much delight and spontaneous life. I found myself smelling the seashore and tasting the pastries being described. I could almost feel the silk brush against my cheek and smell the smoke from the cigarettes that waft through the air. The words are encouraging and heart-warming which leaves you yearning to live dolce vita.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By TamaraEl on May 16, 2011
Format: Paperback
I have visited and experienced the dolce vita of Rome, Florence, Pisa and most of Tuscany in Italy. Now I can add Milan, and truly believe I have experienced it and its amour first hand as I have the other cities. The difference is I have never physically been in Milan, but after reading the beautiful account of "the sweet life" of this fabulous northern Italian city.I feel I have been there without leaving the comfort of my reading chair.
From the first word you are enveloped into the sights, sounds, tastes and smells of Milan and the surrounding sights. You are gripped by her account of her experiences in this great city until the last page. Ms. Conelli's vivid use of words to bring to life the Milanese people, especially the women, paints pictures that would otherwise be left to the craft of a photographer with the camera lens, as his easel.
Your mouth will water and stomach grumble as you read her poetic wording of the northern Italian food delights. Ms. Conelli continues with her fluent use of the English language to lure you into the smells and sites of this alluring city. Ms. Conelli's collaboration with Illustrator, Nela Vadlejchova has achieved simple, well-placed pen drawings with enough detail to tempt your senses into imagining what really is beyond the description of the scenario they enhance.
In the end, will you not only fall in love with Milan (and Ms. Conelli's writing) like I have, but you will want to visit it as soon as you can. So use the "Dolce Vita Notes" pages found at the end of the book to strategically plan your next vacation, of course, to Milan. Just purchase an additional copy for your travel agent as a gift, and firmly explain to her that you want to go to "everything" written between the covers. She'll thank you for being so organized.
PS - a little word of advice: DO NOT read this book when you are hungry as you will devour the story too fast... and you don't want to miss one word, I promise you.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By K. Duncan on June 19, 2011
Format: Paperback
In Chique Secrets of Dolce Vita Barbara Conelli shares with us her lighthearted yet insightful view of the world of Milan, Italy. Through her eyes, we learn that Milan is a not simply a city, but a life experience, with many moods, tastes and desires. Most of all we learn that if we open our senses to Milan and its surrounding countryside, we can learn to simply enjoy life and live it to its fullest.

In her part fascinating history lesson, part intriguing travelogue Ms. Conelli guides us on a journey woven through the little towns around Milan as well as its various quarters. On the journey she shows us the very best of life from outstanding fashion and style to the subtleties of exquisite meals and drinks. With humor and poetic language she shows us unique places to meet friends old or new and simply enjoy a sunny day or a cool evening.

Chique Secrets of Dolce Vita is about life and how to live it well. Ms. Conelli shares with us the past and present of Milan, and gives us a taste of the lives of the people whose zest for life is to be admired and, if possible, copied. Whether you are able to visit Milan one day, or not, you will be infused with a zest for life similar to the people and places that inhabit the pages of this delightfully educational and pleasant book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ardee Eichelmann on September 11, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
Barbara Conelli shares her love of Milan and neighboring areas in a delightfully gossipy manner as if you were sitting with a favorite girlfriend drinking espresso and eating pastry. Conelli weaves a travel itinerary filled with juicy facts and tidbits of history so you don't miss a single opportunity to fully savor the Milanese countryside.

The city of Milan and its citizens are the focal point of this book discussing feminine attitudes and fashion, traffic, culinary delicacies, art and music just to mention a few of the topics Ms. Conelli whispers in your ears about. It is a charming book and I recommend it highly for a delightful read that may have you yearning for wine tinged with the salt air, Italian silk or hats that will define you as a woman of a certain class and bearing.

Enjoy Chique Secrets of Dolce Vita and then share it with your best friend. You will have a lovely time discussing it over a glass of fine Italian wine.

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