So, today is my stop on the blog tour for this amazing book. I got a proof copy of this book at the HQ summer showcase, and I just flew through it. I was so glad to get a place on the blog tour.
Today, Sara is talking about her top 5 spots in Italy, as this book is set in the beautiful Positano, and I highly recommend buying a copy!
My Top Five Spots in Italy
Italy is my ancestral home and the one that has infused my identity with a passion for good food with a side of good yarn shared over a full table. I would like to boast that I have exhausted the country, delved into every mountainous crag, breath taking forest and turquoise bay it has to offer but I would be stretching the truth even further than a fiction writer. I have been lucky to visit a lot so far and my list of to-sees grows annually and with much pleasure – I haven’t told the family officially but I’ve day-dreamed my jaunt to Venice for the very near future.
Till then, here are some of the top places I have spent time in and would urge anyone to make plans to travel to.
I’m biased of course, because my mother is from this island and I feel like I’m very much descendant from that tribe of diffident cooks and storytellers that it’s famed for. Sardinia is a land of mystery and tumultuous history, it is jagged mountain silhouettes and breath taking turquoise sea coves with some of the freshest seafood you might ever have. Don’t stay hogging the beach though, there are fantastic archaeological sites dotted around the island as well as the spectacular Gennargentu national park at its centre.
This city seduced me a few years ago and we are still in the first throws of romance, where you struggle - or care little to - spy the fault lines in one another. I love the verve of this city, the swagger, the chaos, the unexpected surprises of antiquity as you walk through it. I adore the food, and how readily available it is. I love getting lost there, following my nose to the next nook or market. I’ve dodged the tourist crowds and let my wanderings take me further afield, and that’s something I would urge any traveller to do. I’m currently working on the second draft of a book set here so am indulging my imagination in retracing those steps with pleasure.
It is easy to fall in love with this cliffside town, especially if you catch it before half the world descends, just at the precipice of late spring. Take shoes that are made for walking not prancing because everywhere you go you’ll need to climb hundreds of steps. It makes digesting the twice-daily injections of gelato easier to digest. I love to escape uphill and walk the Path of the Gods, a fantastic hike that winds around the cliff edge for spell binding views of the Amalfi coast. I visited Pompei the last time I went to Positano and like the thousands of people who did so before me, left captivated by its spell. On my first visit to Positano in 2005, the idea of The Secret Legacy sprang into existence and gnawed at me to be written ever since.
I was lucky to work on a film on location in Sicily and found it an intoxicating place. Perhaps it was the whole experience of being on set that added to the glamour of my memories there, but I loved the earthiness of the culture, the spice of its history, the clashing tones of the Sicilian dialect so different in rhythm from those on the mainland. I’d urge a traveller to make time to lose themselves along the coast around Noto, visiting the tiny towns that dot the east coast, fishing villages that are made up of one main street and small restaurant huts on stilts with narrow jetties that lead from the shore toward them where you can eat the freshest sea food in Italy. Take a plate and dive into their sea food antipasti buffets, squeeze one of their fresh lemons into a glass of cold sparkling water with a side of hearty red and you will have my version of heaven.
5. Cinque Terre
This is the area close to Genoa that is a cluster of picturesque villages with buildings painted dainty hues against the craggy dark blue coast. It is a ritzy part of the Ligurian world (I’m a lover of simple pleasures but pair it with regular dips in luxury), one where the hip Genoans take their swanky shoes on a well-heeled Sunday parade. This is the land of pesto so know that you will have a beautiful experience of that glorious garlic basil marriage. Make time to eat it with trofie, the traditional handmade pasta twists that are the perfect pairing to the sauce, catching every nuance of that lustrous olive oil, rich pine nut, tangy parmesan, fragrant locally grown basil and punchy garlic in one mouthful.