La Bella Lingua by Dianne Hales

La Bella Lingua by Dianne HalesToday is La Bella Lingua‘s release date, and I have to tell you, this book is fabulous!

I got my copy two weeks ago–and flew through it in a weekend. I plan on reading it again.

For anyone who has been enchanted by the always beautiful, often frustrating Italian language and tried to grasp its basics as well as its intricacies, Dianne’s tales will not only ring true but also comfort you.

From obscure word etymologies to entertaining anecdotes, La Bella Lingua will keep you turning pages, nodding along in agreement, laughing, and even learning–I picked up quite a few new words myself.

And the writing? A sheer pleasure. Truly.

5 espresso cups out of five!

A *must* for any lover of the Italian language, this book assolutamente warrants five espresso cups out of five.


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130 Beans of Wisdom to “La Bella Lingua by Dianne Hales”
  1. joanne at frutto della passione

    What a great post, fun to read and so vivid! I enjoy reading about other people’s experiences with the language and with Italy in general.

    joanne at frutto della passione’s last blog post..Amatriciana

    Me too, Joanne, and this is truly a great book…best of luck in the drawing 🙂

  2. 05.12.2009

    mi piace l’italiano, ma posso parlare solo unpo 🙁

    Sarabeth’s last blog post..Bringing Malai Kofta To the Table

    There’s always time to learn Sarabeth! Thanks for coming by 🙂

  3. As someone who is trying to become fluent, this book sounds like a must read (and quite funny).

    Look forward to reading it. Congrats to Dianne on its publication.

    nyc/caribbean ragazza’s last blog post..A quick day trip to Naples: Art and some of the best pizza in the world.

    Quite funny indeed! You’re going to love this book 🙂

  4. rod


    Ciao Rod! Best of luck in the drawing 🙂

  5. 05.12.2009

    I’m not sure if I can wait until the 19th, I may just have to saunter over to Feltrinelli and pick up a copy today. That section has me hooked!

    Willym’s last blog post..Presents for Puppies

    Ooh let us know if you find it!

  6. 05.12.2009

    ..will this encourage me to continue my wrestle with the Italian language? I hope so 🙂

    Anch’io spero di sì Davide 😉

  7. 05.12.2009

    Pick me, pick me, pick me! And, if I don’t get picked, can I buy it in Italy?

    Not sure if it’s sold through online Italian merchants, although it’s on Amazon, so Amazon UK might have it?

  8. 05.12.2009

    Just reading her words here has renewed my determination to really learn this language! It’s not just another thing to check of the list; its an adventure to be had!

    Nicole’s last blog post..Happy Mothers Day

    That’s the spirit, Nicole! Best of luck 🙂

  9. 05.12.2009

    I am also an avid fan of la lingua italiana. Can’t wait to read it!

    Megan’s last blog post..“Collecting East & West” conference in Florence

    You’re going to love it, Megan!

  10. 05.12.2009

    This is gorgeous. I definitely want to get this book. Thanks Dianne & Sognatrice. I will look out for it in SA.

    Or perhaps you’ll win a copy?! Fingers crossed!

  11. 05.12.2009

    yes yes yes! I absolutely MUST have this book!

    I agree Annika! Best of luck 🙂

  12. Kerri

    I love language books and could (still) use help linking the Italian language and culture…sounds fun and enlightening!

    I think I’ll be learning this language forever 🙂

  13. Anna

    I have been living here for 11 years and still get flack cause I mix up English, French and Italian….my latest doosie….wanted to say in Italian…SONO OBERATA DI LAVORO and instead it came out Sono Obliterata di lavoro…obliterated with work…my colleagues are still laughing and put up OBLITERATION sign on my desk!

    Hah! Good that your coworkers have a sense of humor 🙂

  14. Ann Dello Iacono

    I’m excited about this book! I always say how proud and fortunate I am to be able to speak, and teach, “la lingua piu’ bella”….

    I think you’re going to love this, Ann!

  15. 05.12.2009

    As I prepare for my trip to Italy in October, I need all the help I can get with learning the Italian language!

    I am looking forward to adding this book to my collection.

    Jennifer Rafferty’s last blog post..A Mother’s Day Gift: Help K and Her Children

    Enjoy, Jennifer!

  16. Amy

    Love, Love, Love to Read! Love, Love Love to Eat! Love, Love Love Languages!

    Sounds like we have a lot in common, Amy! Best of luck 🙂

  17. 05.12.2009

    I have to read this book- if I win it or not!
    I believe that the Italian language is the most beautiful language out there.
    No other language can compare.
    Thanks Michelle….

    Susan’s last blog post..Oregano

    Thank *you* Susan, and good luck!

  18. 05.12.2009

    I recently found her blog on the web and have been enchanted by her posts. It really made me want to buy the book. Thanks for introducing her to your readers too.

    Ciaochowlinda’s last blog post..Citrus Scallops

    Yes, Dianne has a great blog too; thanks for coming by Ciaochow 🙂

  19. 05.12.2009

    Dianne, your guest post had me grinning wistfully as I read it this morning. I can relate to your story wholeheartedly. The Italian language arrived in my life two years ago like a chance meeting with a beautiful stranger. I was smitten instantly. Its rhythms and rhymes appeal to me on a very fundamental level and I’m forever changed by my decision to start to learn it. I have some facility with Spanish and French but after Italian, all other languages seem cold and static to me. The spirit of the Italian language transcends vocabulary and grammar and it offers its speakers a deeper level of communicating. I cannot get enough of it and I cannot wait to read your book!

    Paul Anater’s last blog post..I want to smack this kid

    Best of luck Paul! Thanks so much for coming by 🙂

  20. Karina

    This sounds like such a funny book! I love hearing about people’s adventures learning a different language!

    Karina’s last blog post..Writing, writing, writing!

    Best of luck in the drawing, Karina!

  21. 05.12.2009

    Oooooooooh pick me!! Pick me!!!!!! I cannot wait to read this.

    Paola’s last blog post..5 months

    Best of luck, Paola 🙂

  22. helena

    A work colleague is in Italy, staying in Bologna for two months, primarily to improve her Italian. She is now utterly besotted with Italy and keeps posting giddy ‘magnifica’ and ‘bellissima’ comments on Facebook. She studied Italian for a year – battling horrendous shiftwork hours which left her exhausted – in order to ready herself for her Excellent Adventure. I would love to give her a copy of the book which captures her experience as well. So here’s hoping my name will be pulled out of the hat!

    Fingers crossed Helena!

  23. Kristin

    The book sounds wonderful! I’ll have to keep an eye out for it, my husband just joined me in Italy and is embarking on learning Italian. It probably does not help that we all tell horror stories of our linguistic mishaps (still happening). Me to scooter mechanic: “Voglio incendere questo motorino.” (to burn it up). The mechanic said he *could* do that, absolutely, but perhaps I meant to say “accendere”? To start it?

    The book is available at I just checked (and bookmarked it for myself):

    Thanks for looking that up, Kristin, and for sharing your fabulous language story! That’s a great one 🙂

  24. 05.12.2009

    But I’m 87!!! That is just adorable. I hope I get a chance to read the book, the guest post was great. 🙂

    Aimee’s last blog post..Baby the Maltese

    Best of luck, Aimee 🙂

  25. 05.12.2009

    What an awesome giveaway! I would LOVE a copy of this book, and if I don’t win, I will definitely be going out to get it. I have really been slacking with my study of Italian, so maybe this is just the thing to get me excited about it again.

    Heather’s last blog post..Nine Days

    Best of luck Heather! Good to “see” you 🙂

  26. Michelle Mattioli Poorman

    Pick me! Pick me! I live in south-central PA! I would love a copy of this book…. PLEASE!

    Hee hee, best of luck Michelle!

  27. 05.12.2009

    What a great post!! 🙂 I have been self teaching myself Italian for over a year now and it’s definitely slow moving but I picked up so much when I was in Italy. Italy was by far the best classroom for me! 🙂 I can’t wait to go back and learn some more!!
    Definitely putting this on my GoodReads “To-Read” list! 🙂

    Thanks for sharing your reviews, and thanks Dianne for the entertaining guest post! 🙂 It was a pleasure to read.

    Oh yes, jumping in *definitely* speeds up the learning process, that’s for sure!

  28. Aimee Eck

    I would love to read this book! It sounds great! =)

    Good luck!

  29. 05.12.2009

    Just reading Dianne’s post is enough to want to read any book by her — she has a lovely fun way with words! I too have fallen in love with the Italian language after spending time in Le Marche and Campania and driving all around the south of Italy on another occasion. My first teacher was … an Armenian woman in Armenia, where I was domiciling at the time. She was great and gave me even more enthusiasm. Now I have to get back to Italy and have the courage to just open my mouth!

    Miss Footloose’s last blog post..SHEARING THE EXPAT

    Lucky for us Italians are very forgiving and love when we try to speak their language 🙂

  30. 05.12.2009

    Just this morning I was trying to figure out how I can get myself ready to meet with my Italian tutor tomorrow-she’s been back in Italy since Dec. and in that time my speaking skills have really deteriorated! I saw her once a week ago and was tongue tied the whole time! Help!

    It’ll all come back, Janie…just like riding a bike! Kinda 😉

  31. carol

    I just got a notice from Barnes&Noble that my advance order has arrived…….I’ve hesitated reading excerpts on Diane’s website because I didn’t want to shorten the pleasure of reading the entire book in context. But like you said…..I could always read it again…..and again…..Can’t wait to get my hands on it………I could always gift a second copy to una bella amica.hehehe

    Exactly, Carol! And good thinking on avoiding the excerpts, although what self-control you must have!

  32. Kendall

    Sounds like a must read! where is it available for purchase, on the off chance I don’t win a copy?

    If you’re in the States, pretty much everywhere, I would imagine (definitely online at Amazon and

  33. Rhea

    I am ready for my soul to smile!

    Yeah! Best of luck 🙂

  34. 05.12.2009

    Ti ringrazio, Michele–and also all of you who commented. Your words have me smiling from the depths of my soul to the tip of my nose. Aren’t we all “fortunati” indeed to have Italian in our lives?

    Please keep in touch at my website or blog. I’d love to get to know you all better.

    A presto,


    Thanks so much for sharing your words with us, Dianne 🙂

  35. Jennifer

    I’m looking forward to reading this book, Dianne’s writing is beautiful! I would love to learn Italian, but have always been daunted by it.
    I’m traveling to Rome next week, and plan to read this when I get back…the two should be plenty of inspiration to get studying!
    Thank you both for a great post today!

    Jennifer’s last blog post..Travel Countdown

    Thanks so much for coming by Jennifer 🙂

  36. 05.12.2009

    This book sounds absolutely fabulous! Thanks for entering me into the drawing 🙂

    City Girl’s last blog post..Bookmarked Recipes – Cucumber Watermelon Cooler

  37. Oh my… what a wonderful story! I have been eagerly awaiting Diane’s book since you first mentioned it here. You are so sweet to offer a giveaway! Now I will be eagerly awaiting May 19th! 🙂 Thanks Michelle!

    Laura at Ciao Amalfi’s last blog post..Tempting Tuesday: Ravello’s Villa Rufolo

    In bocca al lupo Laura 🙂

  38. Anon

    It’s Erica, generally too lazy to identify, but the book sounds awesome so I had to post a comment. We were just in Italy last month for our Calabrian wedding extravaganza, so I’m particularly inspired to read it now in hopes of making fewer errors next visit!

    Hah, I can only imagine the extravaganza…best of luck 🙂

  39. 05.12.2009

    Just moved to Italy and looking to learn more about this beautiful language – sounds like a great book to learn a bit more of the intricacies!

    Benvenuta Linda, and best of luck 🙂

  40. 05.12.2009

    Amazon UK says they have it, but they want at least 12-14 days (UK), so getting it to Italy will probably take longer. Sounds like a fun read for under the umbrella this summer.

    Jacques, I’ve updated the post with info about an online bookseller in Italy that has it…with free shipping 🙂

  41. Lesley

    How I’d love to read this book – I think I will have to order it from Amazon and have a friend bring it over from the UK to Calabria for me 8-))

    Now there’s a plan, Lesley; if you’re in the Badolato area, let me know 🙂

  42. 05.12.2009

    Me! Me! Me!

    Sounds lovely.

    Best of luck BT!

  43. joyce mariani

    Michelle..enjoy your posts on Facebook!
    Thanks for this facinating info!
    Put my name in the hopper! Thx.
    Joyce Mariani – Italian Cultural Garden
    Cleveland Italian Film Festival

    Best of luck, Joyce!

  44. 05.12.2009

    This looks to be a fantastic book! Thank you for the opportunity to hopefully win one, and for the great guest post 🙂

    Thank *you* for reading, Juliette!

  45. Jill

    Thank you for this, it sounds like a great book and I am looking forward to reading it! I just added it to my amazon wishlist.

    Best of luck, Jill!

  46. Julia

    Absolutely hilarious! While I grew up speaking Italian at home here in Canada, that didn’t make me immune to the amusing grammatical mistake…although mine was forgetting to put that extra “n” when I was talking about my “pens” (for those of you still scratching your head, leaving out that extra letter means you’re talking about a male body part rather than a writing implement!) 😀

    I look forward to reading the book, as I suspect I’ll be chuckling my way through it all.

    Julia’s last blog post..What a Sunday

    One of most/least favorite Italian errors, Julia 😉

  47. 05.13.2009

    But of course, I’d love to be a winner 🙂 Maybe I can come right to Calabria to get mine if I win. I’ll be on my way to Roma by then anyway………..


    My Melange’s last blog post..Travel Tip Tuesday – 7 Tips for Making Travel Stress-Free

    Hee hee…come on down anyway!

  48. carrieitly

    I’ve been slacking DREADFULLY on my Italian studies. This excerpt makes me think this book might just give me the kick in the bum I’ve been needing. Would be great to win, but alas, if not, it’s already on my Amazon wish list :-).

    In bocca al lupo Carrie!

  49. 05.13.2009

    Oooh, sounds like a fascinating must read!

    IMHO it *absolutely* is 🙂

  50. Rose

    After hearing my husband’s family laugh at the italian heard in NY this book sounds like a great read! It’s on my Barnes and Noble wishlist now~ Thanks for the peek!

    Best of luck, Rose!

  51. Carolina

    Great! her “roof” slip reminds of my own “penne” blunder years back! gotta love it! I will definitely get this book to bring over and read on my terrazza this summer in Calabria!!!

    I have to say this was definitely great reading on my balcony in Calabria 🙂 If you’re around Badolato this summer, let me know!

  52. Gil

    I sounds like she had fun learning Italian. Definitely more fun than sitting in some stuffy college classroom listening to an older woman from Rome that was married to a rich guy from Old Saybrook, CT!

    Hah, are you speaking for experience or what? 😉

  53. Josephine

    I’m really excited to read this book. . . thank you for introducing it on your site. There’s nothing like reading about something you love written by a passionate person.

    Best of luck in the drawing, Josephine, and thanks for coming by 🙂

  54. martha

    seems like the perfect book for me 🙂 i recently moved to rural italy and have been picking up the language by listening, listening, listening, speaking, films, music and more listening and speaking. thanks for introducing the book!

    Sounds a lot like my first year here, Martha…it really is a fun way to learn, I have to say 🙂

  55. Hello:
    Having recently studied the Italian Language as one of my Graduation requirements at Harvard University, I truly appreciate your blog. One on the most difficult aspects of the languae is speaking it, and as you alluded to…the pronounciation. I can’t wait to read the book.
    While I was in Badolato looking for my family roots, I had the pleaure to spend a lot of time with Michelle. Her grasp of the language not only fascinated me, but came to my rescue on numerous occasions. Since my visit was prior to completing the language classes, i can not wait to go back and see her again so we can converse.
    Thank you for creating such a book. It is charming and useful.
    Elaine Victoria Grey
    Watertown, Massachusetts

    Hope to see you back in Badolato soon, Elaine!

  56. Charmain Giuliani

    I have been reading the book feeds nearly daily from Ms, Hayes…I have enjoyed them immensely. And even though my husband is Italian, there have been some tidbits about the lingua that even surprise him!

    P was impressed that I knew the origin of the veline (he didn’t)…learned in this book 🙂

  57. 05.13.2009

    the book sounds wonderful! I would like a chance at it! Grazie!

    The Italian Dish’s last blog post..Asparagus Frittata

    In bocca al lupo!

  58. joanne

    Congratulations Dianne, and thank-you Michelle for letting us in on this delightful discovery! Sounds like the perfect read on that long flight to Italy. Can’t wait to get it!

    Absolutely great reading for the plane! Enjoy 🙂

  59. 05.13.2009

    What a lovely account of a love affair. I can’t imagine, as after an unmentionable number of years actually living here I am STILL having a terrible time with the language – but I will agree, it is absolutely beautiful to hear someone speaking with a musical voice and a delicious accent. There is not a prettier language in the world. And if the book is half as good as the post it will be a pleasure to read every word!

    Fern Driscoll’s last blog post..One Year and Counting

    Ah, but the book is even better Fern! You’re going to love it 🙂

  60. Kat

    Can we purchase this book in the US? From 2006-2007 I could have walked to Feltrinelli to pick up my own copy, but unfortunately now I would have to hop on a plane. I moved to Rome not speaking a word and by the time I left I could speak passable “Roman” italian and anytime I would travel elsewhere people knew exactly where I learned to speak. I was constantly confused by the Roman slang and how to make my phrases more beautiful as all Italians do. I never “got it” and your excerpt of umbaccio perfectly illustrates the type of things I could never quite remember/understand, as does the tette example (a common problem I had with my pronunciation and inability to remember genders of words!). While I have left Italy, I still hold her beauty and language very close to my heart.

    You can absolutely buy it in the US…pretty much wherever books are sold, I imagine 🙂 Thanks for coming by Kat!

  61. 05.13.2009

    My wife and I love to visit Italy. We just got back form three weeks in Italy, it was our fourth trip in the last four years. We are planning on going to Sicily next year for two weeks to visit some of my family.
    We have been trying to learn Italian with Rosetta Stone it’s hard for a seventy one man.
    I love everything about Italy the language,culture, pasta, wine

    Complimenti for learning the language Mickey! It’s difficult for a 32-year-old woman too, believe me 😉

  62. 05.13.2009

    Ah, falsi amici… gotta watch out for those!

    Dangerous indeed….

  63. Bonnie

    I LOVE this! I understand what she is saying about learning a non-mother tongue language. Been there. The one comment I loved was that her favorite restaurant is Camponeschi in Rome. My dearest friends are Compeneschi, distant relatives of the founders of the restaurant. I will be visiting my son in Italy this December and can’t wait to try the Roma Camponeschi.

    Sounds great, Bonnie! Enjoy 🙂

  64. Eva Sarraga

    I would love to be immersed in the book. I’m going to live in Rome, Italy for one year, arriving in Sept 2009. Since I know Spanish, I am sure I will be able to relate both languages & learn italian fast! I am looking forward to share all the beautiful & romantic scenarios Rome & all other cities have, the food, wine, people, the music & their culture.

    Best of luck Eva!

  65. 05.13.2009

    I just ordered some stuff last night from Amazon and I knew that there was something I wanted and couldn’t remember!
    Darn burned out brain cells!!
    Add me to the roster!
    Got some Daphne Du Maurier books, though! Yeah, baby!

    jmisgro’s last blog post..And the Winner is…

    Fun fun! Perhaps you’ll win a copy here and won’t need to order 🙂

  66. Valorie

    What a fun book and fun post! I’ve been trying to learn Italiano, it’s fun, difficult, and just when I think I’m starting to master a little piece, I get thrown for loop. It is such a beautiful languange. I first learned some words for my doctor, then found my family in Italy and it’s progressed from there. A miracle in itself. Grazie mille e ciao bella!

    What an interesting progression through the language you’ve had! And yes, Italian definitely has a way of putting you in your place 😉 Good luck!

  67. 05.13.2009

    Since a young gal of ten or so, I wanted to move to Italy – pretty remarkable considering I haven’t a drop of Italian in me. Then I married (you guessed it…) Valentino and my love affair with Italy was now given a reason to continue. But my sweet Val was trying to be “American” and was busy practicing English! Just a few short years ago I decided to try on my own and got DISH to have RAI on TV! Soap operas (I HATE ours) suddenly became more interesting because they were easiest to follow a general storyline to figure language with a dictionary in hand. Then I progressed to variety shows and finally game shows – I also became a huge soccer fan along the way. Visits to Italy are becoming more interesting as I can now understand more of the conversations and actually participate! Of course, my in-laws are loving and tolerant – but I have encountered confused folks elsewhere trying to decipher my fractured Italian – but they always end up laughing along with me and finally figuring it out – my brother-in-law insists it is because I speak Italian with a great Spanish accent and Southern drawl! This book will have to be a definite read!

    What a fabulous story, Bonnie! I started watching the soaps here as well–*really* helped with Italian also because the lines are rather predictable and cliche 🙂 Best of luck in the drawing!

  68. Lorraine New

    I just returned from my first trip to Italy and am even more eager to speak Italian so that I can be understood- My mother, a first generation Italian-American, would never teach me Italian because she got criticized for having an accent. The sounds of all the Italians I heard throughout Italy, including Avella (25 train stops north and east of Naples, where my grandparents lived) were music and home to me. I am looking forward to reading this book!

    Coming here really sparked my desire to learn the language as well, Lorraine…best of luck in the drawing 🙂

  69. Roberto Cassano

    “… always beautiful, often frustrating …”, this certainly sums up the Italian language. I can hardly wait to read this book (and free is good). And, as an additional bonus, I’ve found a new web site.

    Yay! Thanks so much for coming by Roberto 🙂

  70. Pensionato33

    Veramente, la lingua bella! Looking forward to getting my copy of “La Lingua Bella”. Began studying the language at age 66 at the local Univ. and have been at it for ten years and three trip to Italia. It is a language to be learned in one’s youth, but I, like many others, was kept from it because of my parents desire to speak the language of their new country. This didn’t keep them from speaking italian when they didn’t want us kids to understand however! Pecato!

    A shame, indeed. Kudos to you for having the desire to learn it anyway! You’re going to love this book 🙂

  71. 05.13.2009

    I’ve had a love affair with Italy for most of my life. I finally visited there a couple of years ago, but only for a few days. I would love to return and really experience the culture and all it has to offer. Sounds like this book will at least let me experience it vicariously until I can save enough money and vacation time to return! 🙂

    Ami’s last blog post..Another Local Summer

    Best of luck, Ami!

  72. 05.13.2009

    I love hearing anyone speak in Italian. Ooooh, I have such a love affair with the language too!

    Hee hee, there are many of us who feel the same 🙂

  73. 05.13.2009

    this book sounds like the perfect birthday gift for Art! Thanks!

    Barbara’s last blog post..IT’S DERBY DAY!

    A gift you can share! Love it, Barb!

  74. 05.13.2009

    This books sounds wonderful! Count me in!

    Anali’s last blog post..Wanna Walk With Me?

    Best of luck Anali!

  75. 05.14.2009

    This book sounds like a lot of fun…I’d love a chance to win a copy!

    softdrink’s last blog post..A night at the movies (via twitter)

    Best of luck Softdrink 🙂

  76. Kazbell

    Thank God
    I am not the only one who gets the masculine & feminine pronunciation mixed up. Have struggled through many lessons and much laughter with the tongue twisters. Makes English seem like such a basic language, where is the romance in everything being non-gender. I look forward so much to seeing this book on a shelf here in Australia.
    Thank you Michelle, you are living my dream life, and I can only watch on from a distance. Your blog allows me to dream and escape for a little while each day.

    Aw, thank you so much! It’s my pleasure to provide some escape, which we all need now and again 🙂

  77. 05.14.2009

    I’ve just ordered Dianne’s book as I’m studying hard for my workshop in the Cinque Terre in September. I’d like to at least be able to say a few sentences in Italian with confidence. I love all things Italian, but especially the language. It’s a unique rhythmic language that expresses deep human emotions, embellished by a great poet–Dante. I look forward to reading the book. Thanks Michelle.

    Lenora’s last blog post..Italian Spaghetti Sauce Recipe

    I’m sure you’ll do wonderfully in the Cinque Terre in September, Lenora! It’s in your blood 🙂

  78. Dave

    Wow, I can’t wait to read what promises to be a really awesome book. Veramente, non vedo l’ora!

    You’ve just used one of my favorite Italian phrases Dave…so poetic, isn’t it?!

  79. Peter Leonard

    Cara Siga. Hales

    I am of Italian descent, and love all things Italian.
    I rarely have the opportunity to go there, so I look forward to reading of your experiences, and adventures.
    If i am not one of the lucky few, I will certainly be purchasing a copy of your book.
    My Grandparents came to Britain, in 1910. My brother and I grew up with all the benefits that a real ‘Nonna’ can bestow, and we both make food in the way she did, for special days such as Easter and Christmas.
    We have lots of good memories of her, and whenever I read about Italian life, it brings them all back to me.
    My greatest regret is that I was never able to make Italy my permanent home, and it seems also now that I never will.
    So I do it by proxy and take delight in others experiences and stories.


    Will be sure to pass along your comment to Dianne, Peter 🙂

  80. Sheryl

    Just trying my luck! I’ve read some of Dianne’s blog posts and she’s great in explaining all things Italian. It certainly isn’t a simple language. Even the Spanish students in my class complain.

    Wishing you lots of luck, Sheryl!

  81. vanna

    I am italian, and I teach italian. Just reading some of the excerpts make me want to read Dianne’s book, I’ll definitely recommend it to my students! Italian can be challenging at times, but loving Italy, the language, the musi, the food is what joins us all together!

    Beautifully stated, Vanna! Thanks for coming by 🙂

  82. Michael Bounds

    I look forward to reading “La Bella Lingua”. I’m Italian-American on my mother’s side (my grandmother was from Torre Annunziata, near Naples), and I was fortunate enough to have lived in Naples for two-and-a-half years in the late 1960s when I was a teenager. I studied Italian at the American high school while I was there, then in 2000 I took a leisure class in Italian at the local university, and I was surprised at how much I remembered. It is truly a beautiful language. One of the aspects that I find fascinating is the variety of dialects.
    I will recommend that the public library where I work add “La Bella Lingua” to its collection (and, of course, I hope I am the lucky recipient of one of the gift copies).

    I agree the dialects are truly wonderful as well; your public library will be pleased with your suggestion, I’m sure. Best of luck, Michael!

  83. Joanna

    this book sounds very interesting. i love reading about people who fall in love with places and language. i’ve been to Italy many times and i look forward to visiting again as soon as i can manage another trip.

    Come on over, Joanna!

  84. 05.14.2009

    I would love to read this book. I have an Italian girlfriend who would think it a hoot if I win it!

    Rebecca’s last blog post..I LOVE!

    Best of luck in the drawing, Rebecca! Thanks for coming by 🙂

  85. Dawne

    This sounds like the type of book my husband and I need to read before our trip to Italy next summer! I’m excited to get a copy one way or the other! Thank you for sharing your experiences with us!

    Best of luck Dawne!

  86. 05.14.2009

    Thanks to all of you for your heart-warming comments and interest in my book. I think you’ll also relate to one of my blog-followers who described herself as having an Italian soul trapped in the body of an Irish-American nurse anesthesist in New England. Another told me that speaking Italian is the closest he feels he’ll ever come to singing!

    As for where to find La Bella Lingua, it’s online and in bookstores in the U.S. and on, but I don’t know about Australia.

    Grazie tanto!


    I love that description, Dianne! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  87. 05.14.2009

    I am trying to learn Italian and have already discovered Diane’s blog, which is fantastic, so I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of her book.

    You will absolutely love having Dianne’s tales all collected in one place, Sue 🙂

  88. Imani

    Hi, Michelle!

    I’ll buy my own copy if I want it. Just wanted to pop in and say hello now that I am back in the USA from my last 2-month trip to Lombardia…you can see me signing in from Milan (thought I was really in Brescia) during March and April right on through to May. How I wish I were still there!

    Ciao Imani! Good to “see” you again…perhaps you’ll head south next time 🙂

  89. Erin

    I wish this had been published sooner! I leave for my first trip to Italy on 5/23/09. I have been trying to learn Italian listening to CDs in my car and fear I will mostly be tripping over my tounge while Italians laugh at me! I am sure I will appreciate reading this when I return from my trip.

    Absolutely, Erin; you’ll probably appreciate it even more once you have your own Italian experiences with you 🙂

  90. 05.14.2009

    What a great guest post…good luck on the book!

    Thotlady’s last blog post..

    So glad you enjoyed, Thotlady (and it’s lovely to “see” you) 🙂

  91. 05.14.2009

    Oooh, oooh – I can’t wait to read it!!!

    Elle’s last blog post..for sale

    Best of luck bella!

  92. 05.14.2009

    Oh, no. I can’t find it at my library. I may have to buy it. Can I find it at Amazon?

    Paulita’s last blog post..Big Footprints

    Yes, just click the photo of the book above and it’ll take you to the Amazon page…and be sure to recommend your library gets a copy!

  93. 05.14.2009

    The hits just keep on rolling at Bleeding Espresso and the giveaways too. Excellent feature.

    Marla’s last blog post..Funky Sneakers

    Thanks Marla 🙂

  94. Billie

    This book looks like it’s right up my alley! I love all things Italian-
    I had to laugh at the tetti -vs- tette. That is so what I do!

    Hah, unfortunately it’s what a lot of us do 😉 Best of luck, Billie!

  95. Diane

    I have always been fascinated by the Italian language. This book sounds like the perfect read to begin my summer “staycation.” If I don’t win it, I will certainly buy it! Thanks for bringing it to our attention!

    Staycations rock, especially with great books like this; best of luck Diane 🙂

  96. 05.15.2009

    I would love to have this book! I can understand so much when I hear Italian spoken, but putting phrases together is hard for me.

    Piccola’s last blog post..Ch-Ch-Ch- Changes

    Understanding is half the battle, Piccola…you’re halfway there!

  97. ann-marie

    hello! i am loving your blog! i am trying my hardest to make the move to italy…thank you for the link to purchase this must-have book! just in case i do not win it! 😉 do you have any other reading suggestions for me? ox ann-marie

    Oh Ann-Marie, do I…check out the all the Italy/Italian sections of my Amazon store.There’s fiction, nonfiction, language books, and more. Enjoy! I’m so glad you’re enjoying the blog 🙂

  98. Carolyn

    Looking forward to visiting Italy in September/October. A dream of a lifetime. Learning Italian at night class, love the language, want to learn more! This book sounds great, love the blog, I am an avid reader of all Italian, food, culture, language, etc can’t wait to experience some of it. Happy thoughts

    Thanks so much, Carolyn! You’re coming to Italy at an absolutely fabulous time 🙂 Best of luck in the drawing and with your language learning!

  99. Carolyn

    Is the book available in New Zealand?? Hope so.

    I’m not sure…you’ll probably have to ask your local bookseller (if you do, be sure to let us know the answer) 🙂

  100. 05.16.2009

    You had me at “Che gelida manina”! Sounds like a wonderful read.

    Very cute, I agree 🙂 Best of luck, Deb!

  101. Pat

    Today, my husband and I would have been four days into a two week vacation in Italy where I would have been taking advantage of every opportunity to practice my Italian. However, four weeks ago, I fractured my leg and we had to postpone our trip. I certainly hope to read La Bella Lingua before our rescheduled vacation, hopefull, in September or October.

    Oh no! I hope you’re healing well…and reading lots of great books 🙂

  102. 05.16.2009

    … No e` bello quel che e` bello, ma e` bello cio` che piace!…. and Italy has everything.

    Congratulations to Dianne

    Alessio’s last blog post..Sexting Scandal Led to Suicide

    Best of luck Alessio!

  103. Sarah

    This book sounds like a must-have. Well, maybe that and a gorgeous Italian to chat to. Perhaps a glass of Brunello as well. Provanti!

    Magari, Sarah…maybe next giveaway 😉

  104. Carmen

    The book sounds fantastico! I have been struggling, trying to learn italiano for years. Three visits to Italy later and weeks and weeks of Wednesday night study groups, and I am still struggling. All 4 of my grandparents were born in Italy. Unfortunately, no one ever taught me to speak the language. Che piccata!

    Indeed, Carmen! Best of luck 🙂

  105. Syrahsuzie

    My daughter has just been accepted on a one year exchange with a college in Italy, near Milan.

    This would be a lovely present for her while she is waiting.

    Definitely! Best of luck!

  106. 05.18.2009

    Sounds like a great book – just caught your blog, hope I’m not to late to enter the draw! 🙂 Either way I shall become a new visitor to your blog, keep up the good work!

    Jay’s last blog post..St Albans Cathedral

    Great to see you, Jay! And best of luck in the drawing 🙂

  107. 05.18.2009

    Yay, I am not too late. I have been enjoying Dianne’s blog and enjoyed reading her story on how she learned Italian. It has encouraged me to break out my Italian grammar books again and get back to studying, something I have been very lazy about the past few years.

    girasoli’s last blog post..“painted”~ PhotoHunt

    Best of luck!

  108. 05.18.2009

    Ooo! I read about this book during my hiatus – not sure where, but I am dying to read it. How exciting!

    I just blogged about another wonderful book today on my blog.

    jen of a2eatwrite’s last blog post..It is a truth universally acknowledged that a bibliophile must be in want of great summer reading…

    Looks like a great book too, Jen! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  109. Nan

    I’ve been reading Dianne’s blog and enjoy it very much. I haven’t taken any Italian lessons, but intend to. I love to listen to it so much I watch an Italian television program from the 80s just to hear them! They talk so fast I doubt my ability to ever become proficient.

    You’ll get there, Nan! Keep listening 🙂

  110. Andrea

    I’ve been lurking in Borders waiting for this book! I’d really like to read it. Oh, and please post more pics of the goats!!

    Hee hee…best of luck, Andrea! And more goat photos are coming 🙂

  111. 05.19.2009

    This looks fantastic! Cannot wait to read it. I once tried to learn Italian by labeling everything in my home. It sure got some odd looks!

    Kalee’s last blog post..Pet Peeves

    Hah, I bet! Hope it helped you at least 🙂

  112. Adrienne

    Ciao tutti,
    I, too have been learning l’italiano. At our local community college, going on 5 years now. I find that it takes me forever to do il compito/homework because I (like to) get lost searching for the meaning of one word, which leads to another word and yet another. I’ve just recently discovered Dianne’s blog and am enjoying the depth and range of her approach to la bella lingua. Grazie mille.

    I can understand that, Adrienne…there are *always* new words to learn 🙂

  113. vanessa

    Oh Oh pick me!
    well it is highly unlikely i’ll be picked – how many thousands of comments do you have??!!! Anyway I would love to read this book. Need some inspiration to improve my own Italian. Does your ‘prize draw’ include Italy dwellers or is the post too bad to be used?

    Italy dwellers welcome…my copy got here just fine, so hopefully that fortuna will continue 😉

  114. 05.19.2009

    Hello all, Having lived and worked in italy in calabria for over 3 years now, my problem is I have family “che sempre parlare in inglese” and my collegues at work (irlandese) e (inglese) well you can figure, being from an italian family and taught italian at a young age living in rogliano as a child, my italian was great as a kid, and then i had a position vacant for infant school in england so i went back, frightened as hell because, i could not remember english that well, worried that i would forget english, i always remembered saying to my mother, ” I DONT WANT TO TALK ITALIAN NO MORE” and she always said I would regret it.. which brings me to another thing.. Mothers are always right.. arent they? 🙂

    I am pleased that other people that left comments suffer some of the problems I have with the italian language!, you would of thought by living here i have in incentive to learn it!!!.. buona giornata da calabria! Italia! 😛

    Yes we all have, shall we call them, issues with Italian…sometimes it’s just nice to commiserate, isn’t it?

  115. 05.19.2009

    How did i miss this give away 🙁 …I would love to read this book…will look out for it, if I don’t win….!!

    anne’s last blog post..To All My Readers and Commenters…….

    You’re still in time, Anne! Good luck in the drawing!

  116. 05.19.2009

    The book sounds so fun! It just made my ‘must read’ list 🙂

    Hope you enjoy it as much as I did, Rebecca!

  117. n

    Been trying for 5 yrs to speak; can understand, not speak. HELP!!

    Well the book might inspire you to do better, but my best advice is to just start talking (a lot!) and making mistakes…it’s the only way to learn!

  118. 05.19.2009

    Buon Giornio (it is so here, in Canada anyway)

    I have never been to Italy, save while being transported through the film, “A Room With A View” or watching Italian-Canadian chef, David Rocco’s “Dolce Vita” and Jamie Oliver’s series in Italy as well, come to that. I would love to get there though – my husband toured Italy with his old girlfriend (she wasn’t OLD, you understand, it was just a long time ago). We’re due a trip to Italia together. For now, your blog will do me for a good hit. I love espresso too!

    I’m new here, but I have a feeling you’re going to be seeing a lot of me.

    I hope I’m still in time (I realize I’m just under the wire) for your contest. I would love to read “La Bella Lingua”.

    Please, if you have any time at all, have a gander at my poetry and miscellany blog and drop me a line.

    All the best,

    Kat (in Canada)

    Poetikat’s last blog post..Roy denies he was offered…

    Ciao and welcome! You did make it in time for the contest, so best of luck! I look forward to reading you, but I can’t find your blog 🙁

  119. I just discovered this book and blog yesterday (while not on this site) and got curious. This means I have to submit for this contest, although the competition is stiff at over 120-not even 10% chance of winning 😉

    Irene of American in Padua’s last blog post..An Interior View

    You never know, Irene! Best of luck 🙂

  120. melba

    Hello…hope all is well…I went to Italy for 2 weeks and stayed 4 years….I just took yet another vacation to Rome…I understand completely her passion for all things Italian..I’ve travelled all over the world and visited many wonderful cities in Italy and I also lived in many other countries..however, there is no place like Italy…NO PLACE LIKE ITALY…NO PLACE LIKE ITALY…p.s. the men are full of it and are so handsome and fabulous also…WHEW!!

    Hah, well I can’t argue with you there, Melba 😉

  121. Maltaise

    I would love to win this one, I am going to have to go out and buy it. Thanks for the interview.

    xo M

    Just a bit late for the contest, but it’s definitely worth picking up 🙂

  122. 05.22.2009

    Hi – When I originally commented, it picked up a link to my mail-server rather than my blog address. I tried to correct it, but it would not let me post again.

    You should be able to find me now.

    Don’t be alarmed by my current post, I write all sorts of poetry–you just need to dig a bit and there’s something for everyone!



    Poetikat’s last blog post..Theme Thursday: Vacation

    Gotcha Kat! Thanks for letting me know 🙂

  123. Carolyn

    Hi So sad I didn’t win but have found that I can buy it in New Zealand through Have ordered my copy. All the best

    Oh that’s great, Carolyn! Thanks so much for sharing the info!

  124. 06.25.2009

    Michelle I have to read this book- I adore the Ital;ian language…wish I spoke better!
    I would love to win it- but if I dont Im buying it!
    Thanks for this opportunity.

    You’re going to love it, Susan!
    .-= Susan ´s last blog ..Outdoor Wednesday =-.

  125. 04.18.2010

    Dianne’s book is wonderful! I share a similar passion for the Italian language and was so excited to find her book and blog and then meet Dianne in person in San Francisco last month! Doubly excited to have been invited to write a guest blog for her blog too. If you are at all interested in learning Italian, Dianne’s book will definitely jump start your journey! Buona lettura! Buoni studi!

    Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts Melissa!

    .-= Melissa Muldoon´s last blog ..• lo stato d’Emergency =-.

  126. 04.21.2010

    Splendid, thank you, Ciao!

    Thanks for cominb by, Ellen!

    .-= Ellen ´s last blog ..What is it about NYMH? =-.

  127. Nell

    They excerpt from the book made me laugh and smile, I know the frustration of learning Italian………..Try being Sicilian toddler immigrating to Canada and speaking only Sicilian dialect. Then going back at 15 and realizing no one speaks like you, they speak Italian Geeze Louise!, I thought that’s what I was speaking. No………. Apparently I was mistaken, and had to learn to speak words in a proper manner not the old way.I also suffer from a linguist defect cannot roll my R’s.Family finds this hilarious.
    I ‘d never survive in Scotland either,I was told by my friend Anne of Glasgow.
    I definitely buying this book , if only to find someone who like myself

    Thanks so much for sharing your experience, Nell 😀

  1. [...] I will announce the winners of La Bella Lingua on Thursday, May 21; there’s still time to [...]...
  2. [...] Lingua/Celebrate Italian Heritage Contest Remember when we talked about Dianne Hales’ book, La B...



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