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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Living La Dolce Vita

About a week ago I shared on the blog about living "la dolce vita". I loved the tips that Kristi Belcamino gave in her book La Bella Figura. Now I have finished reading it and wanted to share a particular section of the book.

Kristi gave a wonderful description about her inner Italian Girl Gabriella and how should would live. It is truly inspiring...

Gabriella luxuriously cups her hand around her warm cafe au lait bowl, taking sips between bits of her homemade bread, toasted and buttered......

For summer lunches she will eat a salad and during the winter- a bowl of soup with a small piece of bread and sliver of gourmet cheese. 

For dinner she will eat pasta, chicken or fish with a vegetable salad along with a glass of wine. She usually reserves desserts for Sundays. (I need to adopt this rule!)

On Sundays, she refrains from spending any money. (Oh dear...) 

During the warmer months, meals are eaten en tavola, al fresco, at the picnic table on her patio. 

A colorful tablecloth is complimented by big terra cotta pots of red geraniums bordering the patio.

Gabriella fills her life with intellectual, emotional and spiritual pursuits; spending her free time focused on books, film, food, good conversation and good friends. She strives to live a life rich in experience and not things. (Wow, focusing on experiences not things)

She owns a small, but perfect -fitting wardrobe. Every item is of the highest quality she can afford and works with her body, style and life. She buys new items rarely and with much thought. She resists impulse buys.....

When she does buy something it is from a list of clothing items she needs to replace or feels will be an important addition to her wardrobe....

Her pantry is slim. She doesn't buy in bulk unless it is during her quarterly trip to a warehouse store where she will stock up on olive oil, Parmigiano Reggiano, coffee and dried pasta from Italy. Otherwise, she shops two to three times a week, filing her French market basket mostly with fresh produce.

She never snacks and always sits to eat. (This is major!!!) She always puts her utensils down between her small bites. She chews slowly, savoring all the flavors.

Her kitchen is small and meticulously kept clean and free of clutter, like the rest of her home. In fact everything in her home is either beautiful or useful. She lives by the William Morris adage that "Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful."

This quote is so meaningful to me.....

The decor theme in her home revolves around unique, mostly original artwork, lots of books, plants and big comfy furniture with sumptuous fabrics and soft, sparkling lighting. She has a few treasured items displayed that are meaningful to her, but her real joy lies in her bookshelves, where she keeps only well-loved volumes.

She has developed a aura of mystique, refraining from sharing details of her life with acquaintances. She tries not to talk about herself, but instead talks about ideas. She can intelligently discuss the latest local, national or international news or a new book or film she has seen. She is very passionate, but is able to share her opinions in a poised manner. 

She does not worry anymore. She is assertive. She can respond to requests by saying, "No, I'm sorry I can't do that," or "I'm sorry I don't attend (home sales parties), but thank you for asking," without feeling the need to explain or defend herself. She also does not elaborate on a compliment but simply says a gracious "thank you." 

Every day she makes sure to count her blessings and appreciate her life right then and there. 

This was such a wonderful section in the book. I did not share it all. There was way more information about her inner Italian girl so I would encourage you to download the book to your Kindle or order it. It was a wonderful read.

To read my other blog posts about inspiring Italian woman see herehere, here, and here.


(photos via Pinterest)


  1. I've had Kristi's book for years and was very sorry when she stopped her blog. I think it's time to re-read her book for 2017. It's amazing how similar Italian and French women are.

    1. Yes, I heard she stopped blogging. What a shame. I was truly inspired.

  2. I loved this excerpt from her book. Very inspiring!