"If you can't get yourself to Italy for an extended stay, 'Il Bel Centro' is a worthy substitute. Highly recommended." --Michelle Fabio, Bleeding Espresso, reviewing for Spring 2016 issue of Ambassador, the magazine of the National Italian American Foundation (NIAF)
"For those with small children who want to live in Italy, 'Il Bel Centro' is a must read. ...'Il Bel Centro' reads in many ways like a romance novel. In this case it is the author who falls in love with a country and way of life...It is a grand book..."--PRIMO magazine, October, 2016
"If you love Italy this is a book you need to read."--Maria and Andrew's Mi o My Italy.
"I enjoyed following the ups and downs of becoming part of the town and was sad when they left at the end of their year. Her book doesn't involve buying or restoring a house so it gives the feeling of something a little more attainable to the average person than the others." --Martha's Italy list of "Nine Recommended Books about Living in Central Italy" August, 2016
"I could not have a better description for Spello, than that of Michelle Damiani author of Il Bel Centro: A Year in the Beautiful Center a wonderful tale of her year of "intensive" Italian life in this adorable medieval hill-town. Michelle's book is a treasure trove for those who are planning to move to a village in rural Italy for a sabbatical or forever."--Letizia Mattiacci, author of Kitchen with a View
"Il Bel Centro is not a glamorous account of life in a nice villa somewhere in Italy, where the only inconveniences are funny misunderstandings with the neighbors or the strange behavior of natives, but it is a sincere report of how difficult life can be when you leave everything behind and throw yourself in a totally unknown situation. No matter how nice and charming the place you live is, nothing is certain - not even the result of a dishwashing cycle - and you have to figure everything out, even the simplest things. Michelle Damiani tells everything about that experience, in a sincere way...She does not hide the difficult parts of such an adventure and this makes the book really true and real, which is something I truly appreciated. At the same time, she shares all the beauty and the extreme rewards you get by putting yourself in such a situation: personal growth, self-discovery, strength. And the joy of living in Italy... As a matter of fact, the book is a very good read for people purely interested in life in Italy too. The form of a diary and its chronological order gives the reader the opportunity of knowing more about the different seasons, the traditions, the food and delicacies you can find in a certain period only, and some peculiar Italian festivities."--Cinzia Ferri, Instantly Italy
"Michelle's writing is beautiful and takes the reader to Spello- an ancient town in the heart of Bella Italia. She makes us part of her struggles, frustrations and victories. Not only do you get to know about life in a small Italian town (with no frills) but also understand the traditions of small town Italy. Il Bel Centro is a must read for travel enthusiasts in general and especially for anyone looking to move to Italy."--Ishita Sood, Italophilia
"100 Must-Read Adventure Books"--BookRiot