Book Tour, Guest Post, Review & Giveaway for SASS, SMARTS AND STILETTOS by Gabriella Contestabile! [Ends 5/19/18]
Book Title: Sass, Smarts, and Stilettos: How Italian Women Make the Ordinary Extraordinary by Gabriella Contestabile
Category: Adult Non-Fiction, 201 pages
Genre: Travel / Arts / Fashion / Self-help
Publisher: Sumisura Publications | Release date: November 2017
Tour dates: April 23 to May 11, 2018
Content Rating: G (No violence. No swear words. No sex scenes.)
Ah, that inimitable Italian style. It’s embedded in an Italian woman’s DNA. Fashion doesn’t define her. She defines herself. She knows an extraordinary life is not about status, money, or achievement. The only mastery it requires is one her heritage has given her, the irrepressible passion to make art of life itself.
Ask an Italian woman where she gets her sense of style and she will tell you it’s not about labels. It’s tethered to humble roots; humanity, community, conscious consumerism, and a profound appreciation for art in all its forms.
Sass, Smarts and Stilettos takes the reader on a journey from the humble hill towns of Abruzzo to the revered fashion capitals of Milan and Rome, into the artisan workshops of Florence, and the humanistic business practices of Luisa Spagnoli, Brunello Cuccinelli, and Alberta Ferretti, from the emergence of Italy’s fashion industry after WWII, to slow food and sustainable fashion initiatives taking root around the world.
Life lessons echo in the words of the author’s mother and grandmother, in the voices of Italian film divas, designers, tastemakers, writers, and artisans across generations, from the first Sala Bianca in Florence to the game changing design ethic of Franca Sozzani, Miuccia Prada, and Donatella Versace.
Learn how to live fully within your own philosophy of living. Say good-bye to mindless consumerism, emotional clutter, and others’ expectations. Create a personal style that fits like a custom blazer by Ferrè and enchants like the colors of a Sicilian sunset. Then go on to craft an extraordinary and empowering life made-to-measure for you alone.
To read reviews, please visit Gabriella Contestabile's page on Italy Book Tours.
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Join in this delightful journey, while Gabriela Contestabile reminisces about her Italian heritage, travel, adjustments and insights she gained from small child through adulthood.
Although Italy has endured conquering and much of the country was destroyed during both World War 1 and World War ll, Italy has determinedly rebuilt and found "its own voice" in the world of art, fashion, and cuisine. The people there are strong and resilient.
Gabriela's family moved and traveled a lot. She was very close to her parents, especially her mother. In her various writing expeditions, she gives much praise to her mother.
Her father was transferred to first Canada, then in various New York areas. She discusses the challenges in changing cultures but discovered ways of "fitting in" when in her mid-teens, she was able to return to various parts of Italy. She tells of the diversity in the various parts of the country in language, tradition, food and more. It is very enlightening.
Italians believe in living life to its extent. and that quality is more important than quantity. Although Italian women tend to be fashionable, yet feminine, they are very comfortable within themselves and are strong-willed and . in many cases, ahead of their time in various facets.
There are a list of ways to incorporate oneself into an Italian lifestyle.
The reader will get an educated view of Italy , as a whole, and in intermingling with those of other cultures.
However, much of this tale was experiences of a family who were affluent, which makes it difficult to be objective in the abilities of many less fortunate to intermingle and adjust as easily.
This isn't a lengthy book, yet it is pleasantly informative.
I offer a Four Stars rating.
I was gifted this book with no request for a positive review. This is my honest review.
My readers often comment, and to my delight, that when they read my books they feel as if they’re there, in a piazza in Rome, on the SS Andrea Doria making the transatlantic crossing from Genova to New York, or on a boat in Venice on a cold, foggy night watching a glamorous couple sweep off towards a palazzo. That’s intentional. I want to be there so I invite my reader to share the experience. For better or for worse, setting has influenced my life choices and my writing for as long as I can remember.
As I child I read obsessively and imagined myself inside each story. I was the protagonist. I wanted to walk the streets of Cairo and Paris. I wanted to taste the brownie, small the jasmine, see the gradations of light over Santorini, and feel the slide of a silk shirt against my skin while dressing for an evening in Capri.
But therein lies my challenge. Not to overwrite. Not to lard my prose with description. In that regard I can look, yet again, to my heritage for inspiration and to unvarnished feedback of one of my toughest writing teachers. Her words, ‘when you trim away your overwritten prose, the good stuff stands out.’
She was right. As was Michelangelo when he described sculpture as the fine art of trimming away. He believed a potential future masterpiece to be trapped inside the marble and one needed to carve away the excess so its true power and beauty could emerge.
Italian cuisine borrows from the same principles. No excess. Fresh ingredients, simply prepared so genuine flavors come through. What could be better that a simple dish of spaghetti with tomato and basil, an arugula and fennel salad, an affogato (espresso poured over gelato)?
Italian fashion and design, even in the exuberant designs of Versace and Dolce and Gabbana has a certain spareness. Your eye zeroes in on the craftsmanship, the point of difference.
With that objective in mind I have a process. I throw all my passions and descriptions into my first draft. To edit at this stage would take the honesty and life out of my prose and restrict my visceral connection to the reader. It’s only when I’ve thrown it all on the page that I know what and how to carve away, and I can begin to edit.
Editing is like sculpture. It’s during that phase, and through multiple revisions with careful reflection and with thoughtful feedback from an editor or another reliable source that the true ‘jewels’ of a writer’s work rise to the surface and become art.
Meet the Author:
Gabriella Contestabile is the author of the novel, The Artisan’s Star, and owner of Su Misura (Made to Measure) Journeys; a boutique travel concept for the female traveler who relishes off-the-beaten-track adventures that celebrate the Italian way of life.
The book/travel initiative has its roots in her pre-writer life as a foreign language teacher, later as Executive Director and Vice President of International Training in a number of global companies (including Estee Lauder, Shiseido, and Prada Beauty) where she would create immersive and unconventional learning experiences in unique settings around the world.
One of her favorite pastimes, wherever she is in the world, is to scout out the best, and most ‘Italian’ espresso in the hood. It requires multiple tastings, but that’s the idea. Gabriella was born in Italy, and raised in Ottawa and New York City, where she currently lives with her husband, her mother, and a furry Shih Tzu named Oreo.
Connect with the Author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Instagram ~ LinkedIn
Here is the tour schedule.
Prizes: Win a $15 Amazon gift card (open international / 2 winners total
(ends May 19, 2018)