my italian vacation (sort of) and your summer homework

Taking a cue from fellow Italy expat bloggers Shelley, Sara, Jessica, and Sara, I’m taking a little time off away from the blog.

I know this is odd for those of you in America, especially, to wrap your heads around, but here in Italy, just about everyone takes most if not all of August off. P and I aren’t going anywhere since everyone comes to us (ah, living in southern Europe is so tough!), and in fact, we’re both still working.

But we’ll also be spending plenty of time with his 6 brothers and sisters and 16 (or is it 17?) nieces and nephews that are here right now, so I’m taking a break from posting for a little while.

I’ll still be around visiting your blogs, though (can’t keep me away if you tried!) and I may even pop in to say hello here, but while I’m gone I have some suggestions to keep you busy:

1. Head over to The Island Review, a great site for keeping up with all the contests and give-aways going on via the Internet, including a fabulous contest for digital camera loversthrough PicaJet–you can win a PicaJet FX and/or RoboImport!

What’s all that you say? It’s about making our digital photos the best they can be and also keeping them organized, so do click on the above links for more information. Hurry, ends August 15th!

FYI, the author, Kailani, is a dedicated mom, wife, and flight attendant who also writes An Island Life from her home base in Hawai’i. I know. I’d hate her too if she wasn’t so damn sweet.

2. I’ve told you about the group She Who Blogs before, and now I’m going to send you to one of our most recent members’ blogs: Model Behavior.

You should visit all the member blogs as they’re all wonderful (seriously!), but when I clicked on this one, I wanted to read every post from the beginning. I think we all know that’s a rare warm fuzzy in the blogosphere, so I wanted to pass it on to you.

3. Another of my recent discoveries is The Passionate Palate, and for those of you who enjoy a great food blog, this one is for you.

Jeni, the author, also runs Passionate Palate Tours, food and wine tours through Italy, and I’ve had great fun corresponding with her the past few days. Give her some comment and link love!

4. Check out a great post on work and life balance over at Writing, Work and Weasels, and for those of you who can read Italian, go read Audrissima’s L’onestΓ , la bellezza nella semplicitΓ  e l’amore–and why not comment and tell them I sent you?

These are my favorite posts of the day so far, but the day is young, bloggers, so get writing!

I really *should* start posting my favorite posts every day…hmm…hello Google Reader? Something for me to think about over the break (while I am reading many, many books).

5. Spread the word about my Bella Bags E-Party and Contest on your own blog, then come back here and tell me (or email me) and I’ll send you special link love when I return.

Woohoo! We’re all winners!

There are so many more recommendations I have for you, and that’s what I’ll spend part of my vacation compiling, I promise.

See, I’ll be thinking of you, so that makes it OK, right?

Here’s your postcard in advance:

ionian sea in montepaone, calabria, italy

Hope all your days feel like this.


[tags]ionian sea, sea, montepaone, calabria, southern italy[/tags]

45 Beans of Wisdom to “my italian vacation (sort of) and your summer homework”
  1. qualcosa di bello

    thanks for some fun new (to me) links. i thought i might do a blog break, but all of our august travels include stays in places with wifi & the muse is not taking a vacation right now, so i guess i’ll keep at it! have fun with all the entertaining! that is one of my very favorite parts of summer…

  2. Farfallina - Roam 2 Rome

    Sognatrice is taking a break toooo???!!!

    Yes, you’re right, it’s an Italian tradition, and Sognatrice lives in Italy πŸ™‚

    Va bene, enjoy family, summer, vacation, good food, fun… and we’ll see you soon!

    Baci e a presto πŸ™‚

  3. Maria

    Sognatrice where is the picture from? Awesome view, and yes it would be nice if we Americans had the luxury of taking the month of August off as well πŸ™

  4. chris & erin

    have a wonderful agosto! Enjoy the family:)

  5. JennDZ - The Leftover Queen

    Have a wonderful vacation, Sognatrice! I think taking August off is a wonderful idea! However this mnonth is extra busy for us – perhaps next year! Have a great time with the family!

    Ciao for now!

  6. sognatrice

    Qualcosa, I do hope you enjoy the links, but yes, by all means, if the muse is working, let her blog free!

    Farfallina, sΓ¬ anch’io! Don’t worry, though–you’ll still see me around πŸ™‚

    Maria, the photo is from Montepaone overlooking the Gulf of Squillace.

    Erin, thanks–see you over here soon πŸ™‚

  7. sognatrice

    Jenn, busy here too, unfortunately–I’ll still be working, just not personal blogging for a week or so. We’ll see how that goes πŸ™‚

  8. The Other Girl

    Hiatus schmiatus. Hmpf.

  9. Kathy

    I’ll miss you, but I truly hope you have a wonderful, relaxing time with your family! (Can you have a relaxing time with 16 nieces and nephews? lol)


  10. Gil

    Have fun spoiling all of those sweet little ones!

  11. Calabrisella

    i just got back from my vacanza…
    have fun with yours !

    we’ll miss you…

    grazie per links


  12. Fran

    Oh it hurts…..I am having withdrawals already……ouch…..


  13. Maryann

    If you take off, we’ll all take off! It’ll be anarchy! (hehe..a little spin on words from “The Breakfast Club”).I love this custom of closing down shop for the whole month. I’ll have to work on that for next year. Have fun and enjoy!

  14. Aimee "Roo"

    i love the postcard. πŸ™‚ i hope that you totally enjoy your month off. i wish that we did that here.

  15. Giulia

    That’s a whole lotta nieces and nephews.

    I hope they aren’t like (the majority of) kids I see around here. If so, you’ll be coming back to the blog in no time to write for therapeutic reasons. lol

    Enjoy your time off. πŸ™‚

  16. sognatrice

    TheOG, but…um…I…you…hmpf. Now I cry πŸ™

    Kathy, luckily it’s rare that we’ll find all of the nieces and nephews together at the same time. Very luckily πŸ˜‰

    Gil, will do, thanks πŸ™‚

    Calabrisella, hope you had a lovely time–will you be writing about it? Please do!

    Fran, it’ll be OK. There are plenty of links in my sidebar to check out if you *really* miss me πŸ˜‰

    Maryann, hah! Love that! Try to behave yourselves now….

    Aimee, thanks. It’s really more like a few days off here and there for me, but it’s better than nothing πŸ™‚

    Giulia, you’re very right. Luckily 5 of them come from France and are well-behaved πŸ˜‰ Seriously though, he only has a few that are kind of terrors, and those all live here year-round anyway….

  17. Enza

    Enjoy your time away! and enjoy P’s family. We just moved back to our hometown after being away for nearly ten years and it’s been interesting to see my 5,000 cousins I haven’t seen in years. I swear I think I am related to every Italian in the city of Baltimore! Enjoy!

  18. Jessica_in_Rome

    Enjoy your break, we deserve it!
    See you soon!

  19. bella

    Enjoy yourself!! xo

  20. stefanie

    Sigh. I wish I could take off for all of August! This summer is the first time I’ve really thought, “Damn. I should have been a teacher… Summers off!”

    Enjoy the break and the time with P’s family!

  21. Taffiny

    enjoy. catch that last bit of summer, and breath in deep.
    It is either so hot outside here, we feel we are being baked, so humid we feel steam cooked, or like today, the air suddenly turns, and we feel summer giving way to autumn, slipping through our fingers before we have had our fill.

    I wish you perfect days.

    How thoughtful to give us places to go and wander about in while you are away.

  22. My Melange

    Happy vacation! Come back and check on us once in a while πŸ™‚

  23. Audra

    thanks for the little plug!! grazie cara! also, thanks for the e-mail and link to much appreciated!


  24. Bongga Mom

    Have a wonderful vacation! I wish people in the US had a more similar attitude about holidays as everyone over in Europe. Two weeks’ vacation total is ridiculous, and many people don’t even use it all up. Let’s all work to live, not live to work!

  25. The Passionate Palate

    Aw, Sognatrice, thanks for the plug! I really appreciate it and your compliments. I will miss your posts while you are “kind of” vacationing, but don’t let that stop you. Have a wonderful time enjoying family, summer and the beaches, even if they are crowded. Sometimes we just have to stop and smell the roses, don’t we? Molte grazie!

  26. Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah)

    Ooh, it’s a tough life you lead, Sognatrice πŸ™‚ Have a fantabulous summer!

  27. sognatrice

    Enza, have fun with your 5000 cousins then! I don’t think I’d have that many even stretching relationships. Good thing P makes up for it πŸ˜‰

    Jessica, here here! Perhaps people think it’s odd that everything shuts down in August, but for those of who live here, we know it’s actually necessary to have a month off from dealing with Italian bureaucracy πŸ˜‰

    Bella, thank you! Hope you’re enjoying your last few weeks with Angie before school starts up πŸ™‚

    Stefanie, never too late to switch careers, right? Actually fewer and fewer people around here are taking the whole month, but 2 weeks is still pretty common.

    Taffiny, thanks for your wonderful wishes. I’m sorry your weather isn’t cooperating with relaxation–our July was awful, but August has been truly fantastic. No complaints here, and I’m looking forward to enjoying just a bit more it πŸ™‚

    My Melange, thanks, and I will certainly be around–you keep posting, I’ll keep commenting πŸ˜‰

    Audra, piacere mio! Ci sentiamo presto comunque πŸ˜‰

    Bongga mom, I completely agree. Two weeks is really not enough especially when you work in holidays and the fact that people just might want a week off around the major ones instead of *maybe* a weekend.

    Jeni, yes, sometimes we do need to just relax and do what we enjoy doing–lucky for me, I actually like going around the Internet visiting all my virtual friends. Some people want to be “disconnected” for a true break, but for me, it’s enjoyable, so there’s just no reason to πŸ™‚

    AV & A, well, for the most part, no, life doesn’t suck–thanks πŸ™‚

  28. Jen

    Have a wonderful break and enjoy your nieces and nephews, etc., etc.! And now the postcard has made me yearn, too.

    And I’ll definitely check out some of those links.

  29. sognatrice

    Thanks Jen! Hope you’re enjoying your summer as well πŸ™‚

  30. Figs Olives Wine

    Have a wonderful rest! I want one too, dammit.

  31. Dana

    Thank you for all of the links! We will miss you while you’re on vacation! Enjoy!

  32. sognatrice

    Figs, thanks! I hope you find *some* time to relax at least πŸ™‚

    Dana, why thank you, and thanks for commenting; your place looks like so much fun–looking forward to exploring (and with all this free time I have now…)!

  33. girlie

    Felice Ferragosto! Unless that’s not actually something that people say. Have a great time!

  34. sognatrice

    Girlie, thanks! We’ll be celebrating with about half of P’s immediate family tomorrow–there will be 15 of us or so πŸ˜‰

  35. Erika

    Thank you for your sweet comment on my blog I left you a reply πŸ™‚
    In Geneva the tradition is to take July off, which I did, and came back much refreshed and eger to write. I hope you have a lovely holiday + celebration and look forward to reading your new post when you return.

  36. sognatrice

    Erika, thanks for coming here and for responding over at your place; seriously, when I find that Earl Grey chocolate, I’m all over that cake πŸ™‚

  37. Erika

    hi, left a note on my blog for u πŸ™‚

  38. Wendy

    Thanks for your very sweet comments on my blog. Hope you’re enjoying your holiday!

  39. sognatrice

    Erika, thank you much πŸ™‚

    Wendy, thanks for coming over, and I hope you’re enjoying life as well πŸ™‚

  40. modelbehavior

    Ciao bella, thanks for the link. You made me feel a lot better as I am (in typical Italian style) taking all of August off and blogging has become a difficult task while on vacation. In Salento right now, hope you’re enjoying Italian August as much as I am!

  41. sognatrice

    Modelbehavior, you’ve been a champ at blogging through vacation–I didn’t even really try since my vacation was really just a blog vacation (didn’t go anywhere special).

    But all these posts in my mind….

    Glad to see you’re enjoying yourself πŸ™‚

  42. itrada5059


  43. sognatrice

    Itrada, thanks for commenting πŸ™‚

  44. it's me, Val

    Hope you are having a great vacation!! πŸ™‚ You mentioned some of my favorite places already in my blogroll! πŸ™‚ Happy August! (which is now almost over!)

  45. sognatrice

    Val, thanks! Good to know we have similar blogging tastes (although not surprising) πŸ˜‰

Michelle KaminskyMichelle Kaminsky is an American attorney-turned-freelance writer who lived in her family's ancestral village in Calabria, Italy for 15 years. This blog is now archived. 

Calabria Guidebook

Calabria travel guide by Michelle Fabio



Homemade apple butter
Green beans, potatoes, and pancetta
Glazed Apple Oatmeal Cinnamon Muffins
Pasta with snails alla calabrese
Onion, Oregano, and Thyme Focaccia
Oatmeal Banana Craisin Muffins
Prosciutto wrapped watermelon with bel paese cheese
Fried eggs with red onion and cheese
Calabrian sausage and fava beans
Ricotta Pound Cake