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Our Italian Journey: Living our dream in Italy for one year

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Imagine living in Italy for one full year. This was always the dream and promise made to each other. Ilene and Gary Modica sold almost everything they owned to spend a year in the land of Gary’s Italian grandparents, to walk where they walked, eat what they ate, and live in the shadow of history. Few places evoke the stirring passions and romance of Italy, where the simple a Imagine living in Italy for one full year. This was always the dream and promise made to each other. Ilene and Gary Modica sold almost everything they owned to spend a year in the land of Gary’s Italian grandparents, to walk where they walked, eat what they ate, and live in the shadow of history. Few places evoke the stirring passions and romance of Italy, where the simple act of sharing a glass of wine, a perfect pizza, and good conversation is an art form. Be prepared to immerse yourself in this beautiful country and live vicariously through the couple's authentic encounters. You’ll also discover: How their dream and desire for a genuine experience with a true Italian family came unexpectedly true How, through this journey, they eat and drink their year through Italy visiting eight regions and forty-six cities, including Sicilia and their new Italian birthplace. Our Italian Journey is a travel memoir of an adventure that has forever changed the lives of this Arizona couple. Through experiences and humor, they invite you along their spellbinding journey, exploring quaint villages steeped in tradition and local culture. Come take a glimpse of Italy through the eyes of these new Italian citizens and experience firsthand the Italian zest for living “La Dolce Vita,” in this compelling read.


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Imagine living in Italy for one full year. This was always the dream and promise made to each other. Ilene and Gary Modica sold almost everything they owned to spend a year in the land of Gary’s Italian grandparents, to walk where they walked, eat what they ate, and live in the shadow of history. Few places evoke the stirring passions and romance of Italy, where the simple a Imagine living in Italy for one full year. This was always the dream and promise made to each other. Ilene and Gary Modica sold almost everything they owned to spend a year in the land of Gary’s Italian grandparents, to walk where they walked, eat what they ate, and live in the shadow of history. Few places evoke the stirring passions and romance of Italy, where the simple act of sharing a glass of wine, a perfect pizza, and good conversation is an art form. Be prepared to immerse yourself in this beautiful country and live vicariously through the couple's authentic encounters. You’ll also discover: How their dream and desire for a genuine experience with a true Italian family came unexpectedly true How, through this journey, they eat and drink their year through Italy visiting eight regions and forty-six cities, including Sicilia and their new Italian birthplace. Our Italian Journey is a travel memoir of an adventure that has forever changed the lives of this Arizona couple. Through experiences and humor, they invite you along their spellbinding journey, exploring quaint villages steeped in tradition and local culture. Come take a glimpse of Italy through the eyes of these new Italian citizens and experience firsthand the Italian zest for living “La Dolce Vita,” in this compelling read.

41 review for Our Italian Journey: Living our dream in Italy for one year

  1. 5 out of 5

    Sandra McKenna

    A thoroughly enjoyable journey. Although I have never visited Italy, I was immediately transported there through this wonderful memoir. Ilene and her husband Gary obtain dual citizenship after a lengthy delay, and spend a year in Italy, living in various towns and cities. They travel by train, bus, bicycle and foot as they explore this wonderful country. I loved their descriptions of the food, the scenery, the people they met, and I spent a considerable amount of time googling some of the places A thoroughly enjoyable journey. Although I have never visited Italy, I was immediately transported there through this wonderful memoir. Ilene and her husband Gary obtain dual citizenship after a lengthy delay, and spend a year in Italy, living in various towns and cities. They travel by train, bus, bicycle and foot as they explore this wonderful country. I loved their descriptions of the food, the scenery, the people they met, and I spent a considerable amount of time googling some of the places they visited. A very descriptive tour of Italy and it's neighbours.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Julie Haigh

    Very enjoyable. I've never been to Italy; (except a few hours in Vipiteno; on a day trip to Innsbruck, when on holiday in Austria); but some of my mum's neighbours were Italian. I can remember many gorgeous-tasing foods used to be brought around to our house for us to try. And my mum would be given some recipes, and sometimes go around to their home for a demo. So, when browsing on amazon, and I saw this new memoir pop up, with that amazing cover, and ‘Italian’ in the title-I knew I really wanted Very enjoyable. I've never been to Italy; (except a few hours in Vipiteno; on a day trip to Innsbruck, when on holiday in Austria); but some of my mum's neighbours were Italian. I can remember many gorgeous-tasing foods used to be brought around to our house for us to try. And my mum would be given some recipes, and sometimes go around to their home for a demo. So, when browsing on amazon, and I saw this new memoir pop up, with that amazing cover, and ‘Italian’ in the title-I knew I really wanted to read it. It's beautifully set out, with fancy title fonts, page curl animation, and page numbers. Extra little touches that add to the reading experience. The book started with a chapter from Gary. It was well-written, easy to read, and engaging. Then Ilene took over. The alternating pattern continued with Gary and Ilene both telling us their story. I liked both sides equally. There are some books, memoir and fiction, where narrators have swapped over, and some I have been more eager for them to stop, and the other to pick up. This is not the case with this book. What a great job they've both done. A very enjoyable trip through Italy with this lovely couple. This book is a bit different to the usual moving abroad and doing-it-up memoirs. In this one, Ilene and Gary have already visited Italy many times, they know they'd like to buy a home, or second home there. They tour around Italy for a year, getting the feel for where it's just right for them to settle. Their first port of call is Rome. They spend a few months here, then they go on to stay in so many other places, such as: Sicily, Florence, Venice, Modena, Bologna, Tuscany, Sorrento, Naples, Umbria, Verona, Lake Como etc., and you feel you’re travelling along with them. They travel all over, and discuss various contenders for where they would want to live. They see the sights, sample the restaurants, go to a few operas, and have a wonderful time there. It’s hard being away from family, and friends, though. Some Black & White photos are included within the narrative. I personally would have liked colour photos in the book- or mostly colour. I know this wouldn't make a difference for kindle e-ink readers-and is expensive to produce, but, for example, the beautiful flower picture would look so much more stunning in vibrant colour. Maybe there will be more pictures to see on their website and blog, so I’ll be taking a look there. A really nice read, very enjoyable.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    I really enjoyed reading their book. The words made me feel like we were back there. We have been to several of the same places and the descriptions were spot on. Traveling for a year is a dream for many and they did it. Great job! thanks for the travel escape during this time.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Brigid Gallagher

    In pursuit of their dream of spending a year travelling through Italy, the authors describe the letting go of their home of 27 years, as well as most of their worldly possessions. A lengthier and more frustrating process of acquiring Italian citizenship spanned three long years. Although they aimed to spend quality time based in several locations including Puglia, Florence, the Amalfi coast, Umbria and Verona, their pilgrimage to Gary's grandfather Sebastiano Modica's home town in Sicily, called In pursuit of their dream of spending a year travelling through Italy, the authors describe the letting go of their home of 27 years, as well as most of their worldly possessions. A lengthier and more frustrating process of acquiring Italian citizenship spanned three long years. Although they aimed to spend quality time based in several locations including Puglia, Florence, the Amalfi coast, Umbria and Verona, their pilgrimage to Gary's grandfather Sebastiano Modica's home town in Sicily, called Licodia Eubea is one of the highlights of their trip. Indeed, Gary is now the only Italian citizen in his family, and the emotion surrounding this milestone comes through in his writing. I have enjoyed holidays in a number of the places they visited, but it did not lessen the enjoyment I derived from this delightful travel memoir. The couple include lots of travel tips, great places to eat, prices of train journeys, and other cultural activities... "Our Italian Journey" is a great resource for would be travelers to Italy. I know I shall dip into it again and again.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Linda Dini Jenkins

    When I learned that Ilene was from neighboring North Massapequa, and was also an Italophile, I had to contact her and order this book. In this time of non-travel, this is the perfect armchair companion. But it would serve as a wonderful guide if you were to bring it to Italy and follow in Ilene and Gary's footsteps when you're able. From the process of getting dual citizenship (which I am doing now, and believe me, it's not easy!) to finding Gary's family's village, to visiting such wonderful pl When I learned that Ilene was from neighboring North Massapequa, and was also an Italophile, I had to contact her and order this book. In this time of non-travel, this is the perfect armchair companion. But it would serve as a wonderful guide if you were to bring it to Italy and follow in Ilene and Gary's footsteps when you're able. From the process of getting dual citizenship (which I am doing now, and believe me, it's not easy!) to finding Gary's family's village, to visiting such wonderful places throughout the country . . . this is a story for anybody who want to learn about what it's really like to travel and live in Italy. Train adventures, local markets, big cities, small cities, coastal cities -- it's all here. Congratulations on translating your experiences into an entertaining and lovely book. I hope the sequel tells all about where you finally settle and what the experience is like. Brava!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Mark Hinshaw

    It seems that every other American who visits Italy as a tourist returns “transformed” and feels that they must share their experiences with the world. This gushing used to be done in the form of turgid novels. Now it happens via turgid blogs. A couple spends a year traipsing all over the country, skimming the surface of some cities and towns, and then relates every moment of every day, at length, as if it were a revelation. This book reads like a personal diary, without any sharp-penned editori It seems that every other American who visits Italy as a tourist returns “transformed” and feels that they must share their experiences with the world. This gushing used to be done in the form of turgid novels. Now it happens via turgid blogs. A couple spends a year traipsing all over the country, skimming the surface of some cities and towns, and then relates every moment of every day, at length, as if it were a revelation. This book reads like a personal diary, without any sharp-penned editorial scrutiny -- not unlike a lengthy research paper released without peer review. There are some good stories within it, but they are buried inside overly long, tedious prose, broken occasionally by an uncaptioned photo. This is most definitely NOT a book about discovering Italian culture, which varies greatly by region. Rather, it’s a travelogue about being tourists for twelve months. As a tourist, there is no need to learn how to fix a washing machine, get a loan from a bank, pass a driving test, or get along with neighbors. Basking in charming lodgings and eating yummy food every day offer few real life lessons. Finally, knowing that one is going to be in another country for a year and not bothering to learn basic language skills is flat-out presumptuous. There are many good books about spending time in Italy. Unfortunately, this is not one of them.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Good Reader

    Do not recommend. This author is so desperate and unpopular that she had to post her book as an "ad" in between the books of other authors who are popular. Do not recommend. This author is so desperate and unpopular that she had to post her book as an "ad" in between the books of other authors who are popular.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Sue Cornish

  9. 4 out of 5

    Lynn

  10. 4 out of 5

    gem howe

  11. 4 out of 5

    George MAgee

  12. 5 out of 5

    carole l. cornuelle

  13. 5 out of 5

    Leanore Arnold

  14. 5 out of 5

    Sandra

  15. 4 out of 5

    Glen Hepker

  16. 5 out of 5

    Linda Grosso

  17. 5 out of 5

    Pat Ellis

  18. 4 out of 5

    Louise Cusa

  19. 5 out of 5

    jane fanshawe

  20. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

  21. 4 out of 5

    Margaret Audain

  22. 5 out of 5

    Sandra

  23. 5 out of 5

    Christina Montoni

  24. 5 out of 5

    Anna Berlecky

  25. 5 out of 5

    Nina Geraghty

  26. 4 out of 5

    Christopher Wheat

  27. 5 out of 5

    Scott Bruns

  28. 5 out of 5

    Laurie

  29. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

  30. 5 out of 5

    Xiaohui Wang

  31. 4 out of 5

    Mishathebeer

  32. 5 out of 5

    pat vickery

  33. 5 out of 5

    Gill McKinlay

  34. 5 out of 5

    Linda Kurth

  35. 4 out of 5

    Julie Lennon

  36. 4 out of 5

    Hanlie Snyman wroth

  37. 4 out of 5

    Ishita Sood

  38. 5 out of 5

    Rita Perdichizzi

  39. 5 out of 5

    Steve Malcolm

  40. 4 out of 5

    Felicia

  41. 5 out of 5

    Julie

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