“I was not prepared for Italy.
Luckily, Italy was waiting for me anyway.”
With dreams of la dolce vita, Michelle Damiani, her husband, three children, and two cats abandoned their suburban routine for Spello, a medieval Italian hill-town. Escaping a lifestyle of helicopter-parenting and obsessing over soccer schedules, Michelle hoped to find a slower-paced life, as constant as cobblestones. What she found was more than she bargained for.
Amazon Bestseller, over 90 5-star reviews
“Well-written and Vulnerable, Five Stars”—Michelle Fabio, Bleeding Espresso, reviewing for Ambassador, the magazine of the National Italian American Foundation (NIAF)
“Top 10 Fascinating Books about Living in a Foreign Country” —Jobbatical
“Nine Best Books about Central Italy”—Martha’s Italy
Loved by Readers around the World
“This book was beautifully written and very engaging. It was by far the most enjoyable travel memoir that I've ever read...the recipes are wonderful."
“What a marvelous book. I have read several other books telling similar stories but none as well written as this one.”
“I have read many travelogues about Italy and Il Bel Centro surpasses them all. Not only does Michelle Damiani write vivid and beautiful descriptions of Spello, its culture and its residents, it is written with much warmth, passion, and love.”
“I didn't want it to end!"
"I originally read every post of her blog, then read the book cover-to-cover on vacation, and upon finishing went right back to the beginning to start again. It is that dimensional and colorful—I feel like I'm reading or learning something new every time."
“She has a wit and sarcasm about her that is so refreshing and humorous, making for such a fun and beautiful read. Pour yourself an espresso or Aperol spritz and order this book - then pour several more while reading it!”
“Michelle Damiani weaves such a spell in this flowing book about her family's year in a small Italian town, I half expected to find an actual spell or two intermingled with the log of days, photographs, and recipes.”
“Beautifully written!!! I loved reading this book...it was like savoring a lovingly crafted, exquisitely inspired Italian meal.”
“Michelle Damiani is a gifted writer with a pitch-perfect ability to convey how deeply transforming this year in Italy was for her and her family while, at the same time, allowing the reader to feel as though the experience was deeply personal.”
“I read the last few chapters wiping away tears because the writing was so superb and the author's insights so deeply compelling and revelatory.”
“I read voraciously and am seldom moved enough to review a book. This time I am. Could not put it down.”
“Beautifully written. Felt as if I were there as well. Kept on going back to re-read some pages.”
“I loved, loved this book. Fabulously written, engaging, and entertaining."
“This book was a highlight of my summer reading. Both my husband and I read the book and even discussed it with our children. It has inspired us to start planning our own year abroad."
“I just want more.”
Available in paperback, or electronically—and Kindle Unlimited members can read for free on their device.