Elena Ferrante’s Ischia: an Italian island paradise, in The Guardian

Ischia Island, Sant'AngeloI

Few works of fiction have captured the sultry grittiness of southern Italy like Elena Ferrante’s wildly successful Neapolitan quartet, which concluded this month with the English translation of The Story of the Lost Child. Ferrante’s 1950s Naples is a chaotic mire of sweat and stymied ambition – a place her characters all struggle to escape. But with a hop across the Gulf of Naples, Ferrante transports readers to paradise.

A one-hour ferry ride from the city, Ischia is a 17-square-mile island of parched tufa and bougainvillea that has hardly changed since the languid summers when Ferrante’s teenage protagonists – fleeing Naples’ stultifying heat and poverty – discover their respective sexualities on the thermal beach at Maronti. Even today, the majority of visitors to Ischia are Italians; many, like Ferrante’s Elena and Lila, are Neapolitans from across the bay, often returning to the same guesthouses and rental apartments every year, each summer a chance to catch up with old friends.

Continue reading this article in The Guardian, by Tara Isabella Burton.

View from the top of Monte Epomeo, Ischia.

Under the Etruscan Sun in Prato

There’s just so much to do and see in and around Florence and it’s worth it to explore surrounding cities. The city of Prato, sponsoring wonderful and free day trips from Florence called “That’s Prato” in spring and fall, offers the opportunity to do just that.

Only 30 minutes from Florence. Prato has a population of over 200,000 and is the third largest city in central Italy. It is trying to change its image from industrial to emphasizing its museums, monuments and cultural heritage.

See more by Victoria de Maio and her beautiful photographs.

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Tuscany La Dolce Vita Yoga Retreat June 21-27, 2015

Vino & Vinyasa = exploration / culture / fashion
*Last 1 spot Looking for female roommate! *

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Fashionable Yogis

Ciao Fashionable Yogis! If you, like me, love yoga and fashion then join me for some retail therapy in Italy this summer! Tuscany Retreat June 22-29 & Amalfi Eco-Luxury Retreat July 1-7! We will be living on Ischia, and learning the secrets to the fountain of youth!

PS I bought these boots shown here in Naples last summer, still my all-time faves. Can’t wait to be back there again! Do the things you LOVE.

http://www.alchemytours.com/2013/01/amalfi-ischia-yogaretreat/7/

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How to Speak Italian

One of my favorite parts of the Italian experience is hearing and speaking the language. I would love to have you join us on our Inspired Travel Alchemy Tours Tuscany Yoga & Wine, Cycling and Cultural Adventure June 22-29, 2013 or Amalfi Adventure July 1-7, 2013! And in preparation here’s a little bit of what to practice saying. Love yourself, love your day, love your life! Silvia

***WHAT TO SAY***

Fortunately, getting around in Italy with little or no exposure to the Italian language is not very difficult. The Italians are, by nature, outgoing and often appreciate even the slightest attempt at communicating in Italian. Here are some useful words and phrases to help you get started:

English Italian

Yes / No Si / No

Hello / Hi / Goodbye Ciao

Please Per Favore

Thank you Grazie

You’re welcome Prego

Excuse me Mi scuzi

I’m sorry Mi dispiace

Good morning Buongiorno

Good evening Buona sera

Good night Buona notte

Goodbye Arrivederci

To the left A la sinistra

To the right A la destra

Straight ahead Sempre dritto

Bicycle Bicicletta

Hotel Albergo

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Italy Yoga Retreat Where is Ischia

#1 question I get asked about my AMALFI ADVENTURE ECO-LUXURY YOGA RETREAT, JULY 1-7, 2013 is “where is Ischia?”

AWESOME DISCOUNT OF 3 OR MORE SIGNING UP TOGETHER = $150 OFF PER PERSON. Details herehttp://www.alchemytours.com/2013/01/amalfi-ischia-yogaretreat/

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Solar and Lunar Energies in Tuscany

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One of the most impressive cultural experiences that have changed my life from living in Italy is the appreciation of Sun and Moon energies. The history of honoring the Sun in the land of Tuscany is epic. There are all sorts of rituals and celebrations surrounding solar energy. And just as important Italy is a place where in the evening people stand up and cheer at the moon! Appreciation of getting Moon baths is equal in importance to enjoying the sun. Here are three poems to inspire the solar, lunar and balance of energies within us and outside us. Remember your right side represents the Solar/Masculine energy and your left side represents the Lunar/Feminine energy. Both are constantly at play.

With That Moon Language by Hafiz

“Admit something:
Everyone you see, you say to them, “Love me.”
Of course you do not do this out loud,
otherwise someone would call the cops.
Still, though, think about this,
this great pull in us to connect.
Why not become the one who lives
with a full moon in each eye
that is always saying, with that sweet moon vision,
what every other eye in this world is dying to see?”

The Sun Rays By Peter S Quinn

The sun rays in your eye,
The love you’re giving that I have found;
Like sun that shines though the sky,
Each love must be worth and sound.
The sun that shines each day,
The love you gave from your heart;
What matter what we do or say,
Never let it depart.

Each heart is broken only once
And never grows from sorrow,
Let there never be no bygones
Not today nor tomorrow.

Sun rays oh sun rays
Never hide behind a cloud,
Sun rays all my days
That’s what love’s all about;
Give me no raining shower thought,
Nor glimpse of shadows I’ve caught.

THE SUN AND THE MOON BY The Poet Keri, Age 11

The Sun and the Moon shine again.
The Sun and the Moon the lights of our days.
The Sun and the Moon, making their amends.
The Sun and the Moon, shining their rays in different ways.
The Sun and the Moon, what light up day and night.
The Sun and the Moon, ones that never fight.
The Sun and the Moon, different but the same.
The Sun and the Moon, on two sides of a frame.
The Sun and the Moon, shining their rays in different ways.
The Sun and the Moon, making their amends.
The Sun and the Moon, the lights of our days.
The Sun and the Moon shine again!
Yoga in Tuscany, at Soul Space Gabriella-2