Traveling in ITALY: Discovering the Land of Art, History and Culture

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About the book TRAVELING IN ITALY

"
Discovering the Land of Art, History and Culture" 

It is from Italy that the journey into My World of Great Beauties begins.

Having lived in Italy for 25 years, a tender smile etches itself upon my lips.  “Just a smile?” you may find yourself asking.  Yes, but that smile is the result of thousands of images that have remained vibrantly alive in my memory, as if the quarter century that has passed was only yesterday.  The smile also happens to best express the extreme sentimentality which, from within the three books of my trilogy, takes on the semblance of a light and airy dance.

In Italy, beyond anything else, the senses dance, and it is the most sensual dance in the world.  The theatricality of the Roman Baroque is in harmony with the curt steps of Tuscany and the fragile grace of Venice.  And the people are full of movement as well.  The Romans swirl crazily about in arches, the Tuscans, completely aligned and bringing back a sense of order, while the Venetians confer their own charming mystical note. 

It is true that God graced Italy with an abundance of Beauty, and if its expression is best defined with four elements:  nature, color, harmony and elegance, then as charmed as I was at encountering them, I set out to share this experience with you.  If each book is a reflection of the fantasy of its creator, it is also a reflection of the fantasy of its readers.

The eBook is illustrated with colourful photos.

Author's YouTube video Book Trailers
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLrbC-aJ-0WKvZlhPmPgGTx27W-D4kmkwz


REVIEWS

"In her new travel book, Barbara Athanassiadis lives, breathes, takes delight in, discovers and guides us with a personal and insightful look of Rome, the Eternal City.  She deciphers the unique lifestyle of the Romans, easily juggling between their glorious past and their bright present.  She takes her readers on transcendent strolls, revealing precious and little-known secrets and inspiring all, even the most unrepentant lovers of Rome, to rediscover it once more."

Theodore Gregoriadis, Review in Passport Magazine

 
"A Year In Tuscany by Barbara Athanassiadis retraces the world of the Medici through the eyes of a traveler fully impregnated by classical culture, capable of discovering the long thin line that binds the cradle of Italy to Greece, Mediterranean  mother of our intellectual universe. Barbara's eyes delve into aspects beyond our habitual vision of Tuscany."

Giuseppe Di Stefano, Corriere della Sera

 
"Attentive to the Venetian glances of  Barbara Athanassiadis’ book, I  realized an emotional escalation, as the author is quite literal with her title: MY VENICE. This is indeed her own Venice, with the meaning not so much of her subjective glance or the focus on what selectively charms her, but in the particular way she sees things, looking towards the view of many sights, and not really seeing them.  She wanders amongst her favorite places and drags my gaze to colors and sensations without guiding it .  Just as charmingly, she approximates aspects of everyday life in her extra-literary life, calmly, with a nonchalance and always with a smile.  Just as spontaneously, and naturally, she unfolds the myth in which she dresses her wanderings.  Motives, thoughts, quests, reactions of her heroes, occur nearly as obviously... By reading her book, we follow the confessional narration  of a friend, where the intimacy of her voice is entrusted to our ears.

Helen Kritika , Book Critic

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About the author


Barbara Athanassiadis is the author of seven novels, including three travel narratives on Italy: "A Year in Tuscany" (2007), "Feeling Rome" (2009) and "My Venice" (2014), which make up a trilogy on three major Italian cities of Art. Her latest other books are: “India and my Persian garden” (2016), “Cruising on the Ocean Majesty” (2016) and “Greece, The Dance of the Seas” (2018), which have been published in English, Italian, Greek, German and French. She divides her time between Rome and Athens. 

Author's website:  http://www.barbaraathanassiadis.it/

Author's YouTube video Playlists:  
https://www.youtube.com/user/barbaraathanassiadis/playlists

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Additional Information

Publisher
AA Publishing
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Pages
28
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ISBN
9780993890659
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Language
English
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Genres
Art / European
Literary Collections / European / Italian
Travel / Europe / General
Travel / Europe / Italy
Travel / General
Travel / Museums, Tours, Points of Interest
Travel / Reference
Travel / Special Interest / Adventure
Travel / Special Interest / Literary
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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About the book Feeling ROME 

"An intimate portrait of the Eternal City" 

Visiting a city and then describing it in a guide book is very different than living it, breathing in the atmosphere, enjoying its surprises, discovering its details and recounting its hidden personality in an engaging and passionate way. 

In “Feeling Rome” Barbara Athanassiadis does just that: she introduces us to Rome, the Eternal City, albeit contemplating it from a different perspective, one that is more humane but also more penetrating, revealing the secrets of the particular way of life of the Romans, masterfully balanced between their glorious past and a bright and promising present. 

At the same time, she delicately touches upon the monuments, palaces, fountains, piazzas and shops of this fascinating city, breathing in the ineffable aura of the "dolce vita" of fashion and art. 

The author takes readers by the hand on a revealing walk, inviting even the most fanatical admirers of this city to fall in love again, as if it was the first time! «... As I walked through the gate of the Piazza del Popolo, in front of me I saw the square, dominated by the twin churches and the high obelisk, marking the top of the three streets opening like a fan ahead, leading to as many squares with stairs in marble and baroque palaces. Two hundred years before, that same imposing gate had been crossed by Goethe, who, finding himself in the presence of such a spectacle, a prelude to the wonders of the Eternal City, opened his arms and said, 'Now I begin to live!'»

The eBook is illustrated with colourful photos. 
   
Watch the YouTube book trailer videos of Feeling ROME: 
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLrbC-aJ-0WKuzDPalf_Wfl_WkRNi1NIuy 


BOOK REVIEWS 

"Ever the charmer when she hits the paper, Barbara Athanassiadis takes us along on a stroll through Rome, her dwelling city of adoption. As a matter of fact, this journey is bound to take us far beyond the walls of this city and on to a trip to the Holy Land, where the journey turns into a soul-searching experience, as the author endeavors to connect her establishment in Rome to her remote origins.

Thus, as light as a feather, from palazzos to verandas, and from piazzas to movies of the ‘60s, Barbara flutters along, shedding what she feels is superfluous, along the way. Sometimes entire blocks are obliterated, churches seem to vanish into thin air and even historic accuracy seems as some point, to lose importance…. An experienced traveler, fully conversant with the art of getting rid of unnecessary burdens in her own, so very special, unmistakably feminine and romantic way, something like picking up the most beautiful Mediterranean flowers, before putting them in a vase to share the composition with roses and… artichokes alike!"
 
Maria Ioannides, Review in Vakchikon Magazine


"In her new travel book, Barbara Athanassiadis lives, breathes, takes delight in, discovers and guides us with a personal and insightful look of Rome, the Eternal City. She deciphers the unique lifestyle of the Romans, easily juggling between their glorious past and their bright present. She takes her readers on transcendent strolls, revealing precious and little-known secrets and inspiring all, even the most unrepentant lovers of Rome, to rediscover it once more." 

Theodore Gregoriadis, Review in Passport Magazine

About the book A YEAR IN TUSCANY

"A tale of reality, history, landscape and art."

History, art, gastronomy, monuments, images: these are the elements that dominate the impressions of Barbara Athanassiadis in Tuscany, where she spends the four seasons of the year painting watercolours and discovering the hidden treasures of one of the most beautiful places in the world.

The excursions through the vineyards in autumn give her the opportunity to let her imagination roam free and to transport us to the unique landscapes that surround her.

The winter walks through Florence and Siena are an extraordinary exhibition dedicated to the world of Art.

The spring excursions in her Beetle to the medieval towns open her eyes, and ours, to the traditions of the place, which she critiques with her own Mediterranean influences as to how Tuscany was viewed by the English during the Grand Tour.

In the summer, she leaves for Maremma, virgin land within Tuscany, where she lives through the stories and legends of its people while at the same time taking a step back to look at the Etruscans.  She makes quick stops to local restaurants to taste the delicious, traditional cuisine allowing us to share in her meal of sliced bread seasoned with olive oil, ravioli al pecorino, and pappardelle in rabbit stew, all flavored with herbs and cheese and washed down with a glass of the famous Vin Santo.

Her travel story, written from the heart, clearly shows that she is charmed not only by the peculiarities and traditions of the region, but also the hidden details of everyday life.  It is these little details, an unknown aspect in the daily life of Tuscans, which surprise her and never fail to charm.

The eBook is illustrated with colourful photos.

Watch You Tube book trailer videos of A Year In TUSCANY: 
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLrbC-aJ-0WKut5nkv_JgpMuMgAy3tV63

BOOK REVIEWS

"Through the images, Barbara Athanassiadis writes a lyrical text, in which Tuscany, the noblest of the Italian lands, is celebrated in all its splendor. Centuries of human effort have changed the original natural fabric creating a landscape on a human scale that has no equal. I should add that I would like to read the text in its original language but it was not possible, since I do not know it. However, the translation, beautiful, with a fluid language, charming and persuasive, allows  me to assume that the original  text is of equal beauty: the cases in which the translations have been able to overcome the originals can be counted on the fingers of one hand, in more than three millennia of the civilization of writing."

Professor Fabrizio Lemme, Academy of San Luca - Rome

"The pages of your books are like paintings that a painter paints in real time, while living, capturing the moments - not just spatially but also through the sensory nuances that give color to life. The choice of Tuscany, over other colourful Italian regions, only reinforces the passion and the materiality of the feelings generating chapters, paragraphs, lines, words ... "

Roberto Castellucci, Painter


"With time and disposition as her allies and, above all, her thorough knowledge of Italian  Renaissance Art, Barbara Athanassiadis offers a journey along which I came to learn exactly what to look at, not just to feel what she herself may have achieved, but mostly to attain a conciliation with style and culture, the two natural companions of any wanderer. The painter that she is allowed for certain strokes of her brushes to go astray, much to the benefit of the rest of us!  Secret nuances and mixtures of colors so vivid that they transpire, despite everything, in the watercolors striving to surge from the pages of her book. The numerous references to Art and the reports of talks she had with several people she has met throughout her life, not just dwelling in Tuscany, have admittedly made me richer and definitely strengthened my resolve to revisit the region harboring the sources of elixir. For this is what Tuscany is all about."

Yiannis Spaveras, Greek Writer

ABOUT THE BOOK MY VENICE

"An intimate look at the Myth, History and the magic of its Arts"

"...I liked the way the city had attracted my attention. But, in order to discover it, I asked it to stop hiding behind its masks. I wanted it real. To allow me to discover its secrets, understand its problems and hold a direct conversation with it. And it was promised to me, and all disguises were thrown off as our conversation began..."

A trip through time, myth, History, the magic of Art and life is what Barbara Athanassiadis manages to achieve with the discerning eye of an experienced traveller.  It is the same eye that captured reflections of Italy in her earlier narratives, the books A Year in Tuscany and Feeling Rome.

My Venice is the final book left to complete her unique literary trilogy that approaches time, place and people, both in the past and in the present.  Without directing our steps, the author transports us through the canals, the narrow streets and the squares of Venice, and she focuses our attention on works of Nature and Art, drawing on legends and historical omissions.

The “Winged Lion” leisurely embraces the shoulders of our romantic heroine, and the “Seagull’s Flight” even reaches the “Empress Sissy in Venice”. The “Tiny Murano Spheres” roll down and stop before “The Fork of the Byzantine Princess”, “Torcello” flirts with the “Venetian Women in the Harem”…

The eBook is illustrated with colourful photos.

Watch the YouTube book trailer video My VENICE: 
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLrbC-aJ-0WKv8tN0RuB2YvMtqV_lg7N9X

    

BOOK REVIEWS


"Barbara must have been very much in love with Venice, because I know that for many years she has desired to write this book. She visited the city many times in the fall and stayed for long periods in order to internalize all that she describes expertly afterwards, providing the reader with her interesting reflections on the streets, the innumerable bridges and the countless churches, but also a wonderful lesson in History and an eye-catching look at its mysterious and sensual Art. We all know what Venice is for “art lovers”. Reading her book, it is obvious that she had an exclusive dialogue with the Serenissima, in order for its magic to penetrate inside her and then to be able to narrate her intimate relationship within this dreamy city. I particularly liked the point when she asked Venice not to hide behind its masks, but to throw aside its touristic veils and be revealed to her without any secrets."

Lydia Mastronikolis, President of the Friends of the Cultural Association "Hellenic World"

 
"Attentive to the Venetian glances of  Barbara Athanassiadis’ book, I  realized an emotional escalation, as the author is quite literal with her title: MY VENICE. This is indeed her own Venice, with the meaning not so much of her subjective glance or the focus on what selectively charms her, but in the particular way she sees things, looking towards the view of many sights, and not really seeing them.  She wanders amongst her favorite places and drags my gaze to colors and sensations without guiding it .  Just as charmingly, she approximates aspects of everyday life in her extra-literary life, calmly, with a nonchalance and always with a smile.  Just as spontaneously, and naturally, she unfolds the myth in which she dresses her wanderings.  Motives, thoughts, quests, reactions of her heroes, occur nearly as obviously... By reading her book, we follow the confessional narration  of a friend, where the intimacy of her voice is entrusted to our ears."

Helen Kritika , Book Critic

 
"Through the narration of Barbara Athanassiadis, I discovered in fact that Venice is inside her, hence the title: MY VENICE. While our friendship has bonded us for years, I was truly touched by her book. It's as if she has taken me by the hand and together we stroll this fairytale town; either when the fog envelops it , or when the pink color of its sunset embraces it.  Barbara's spontaneous and mature descriptions have spurred my curiosity to such an extent that I feel a strong desire to actually go to Venice and see the places that have inspired her. I consider myself lucky when I fall upon such a book.  The narrative makes me travel and look at places I have heard about countless times in a fresh and novel way ... all while I sit comfortably in my armchair."

Zoe Kyriakou, Radio Producer, “Easy 97,2”. Athens, Greece

GREECE, The Dance of the Seas

"An intimate look at the Myth, History and the magic of the Greek Islands"

The travel writer transports us from the most western island of Greece, Corfu, to the most eastern island, Kastellorizo.  A trip through space, time, myth and History. The magic of the Greek seas and the picturesque Greek islands as seen through the discerning eye of an experienced traveller.

Watch the YouTube book trailer videos of GREECE, The Dance of the Seas:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLrbC-aJ-0WKvzgQlqVS0d20aPpUZd2pxA


BOOK PASSAGES

“The Aegean. I wondered how the islanders of the ancient world had seen it.  A sea both vast and familiar. The entire planet spread out before them. In our times, distances mean nothing. We fly from Athens to Rhodes or Crete in less than forty-five minutes. The same is true of the Cyclades. We reach a certain height and, five minutes later, it’s time to descend. But in ancient times?”

 “As we left Tinos behind us, I saw the sun, an intense, flaming ball, rise over the sea, and a molten ray of sunlight coming in our direction, as if to push us in the direction of Delos. The hull of the sailboat broke effortlessly through the dancing waves and I felt the energy of the ancient gods invisibly pass through me, pleasurably removing me from my physical body and turning me into a seagull: sea, air, time stood still and ...”

“I am a traveller, not a poet, but if I am able to transport you to poetry, to melody and to the balanced movement of the body, it is because of the great joy that I feel when I swim in the waters of Corfu. It is something that comes spontaneously and fills the heart to bursting here, swimming in the little coves with the emerald waters resulting from the reflection of the cypresses as they climb up the white rocks. The sea that surrounds these rocks is an intense shade of turquoise, and its surface is as smooth as silk…”

GREECE, The Dance of the Seas – a must-read book for every true traveller


BOOK REVIEWS


The intriguing look we capture in Barbara's other travel books is clearly seen in the pages of her new book, GREECE The Dance of the Seas. It is a pleasant and easy-to-read journey, I would say a diachronic literary cruise in our seas, from Corfu, the lush island with the grand old estates in the Ionian Sea, to the tiny island-jewel of Kastellorizo, just two miles off the coast of Asia Minor.

The book is enriched with historical elements while the descriptions are written with a characteristic romantic mood, brilliance, humour, and a lot of love for the place that gave birth to the author. By reading her book, you also feel that you are travelling with Barbara in the blue waters of the Ionian and the Aegean. Close your eyes, indulge in the game of fantasy and enjoy your journey seduced by the magic of the Greek seas.

A must-have travel book for any true lover of the islands of Greece


Eugene Pierris, Author



Barbara has her own particular style of writing, but also her historical narrative is well-researched and documented. She travels through the centuries, while in her wanderings and explorations she includes us, her friends, as companions and co-players. In her book she dances, not only in reality, enchanted by the magic of our seas - hence the title GREECE, The Dance of the Seas, but she dances mentally as well, conceiving a slightly fictional tale with a poetic mood and theatricality.


In this choreography of the islands, spread over the Ionian and Aegean Seas, Barbara lures us, the readers, to travel and dance deep in space and time following the rhythms of her pen as she makes her own experiences become ours. I could say that the adventure of her sea-journey reaches the limits of self-awareness. An inward journey that she is challenging us to make because her writing gives its own lighting to the places she visits, or better, she gives her own literary lens to the particular aspects of the islands she explores, while she lets us do our own reading and gain our own personal experience.


A book that any foreign visitor to the Greek islands must read.


Evita Baltas, Poet



Barbara!!  How nice that we travelled together from Corfu, which I visited in 1965 on a school excursion and and have since been to many times as I love it, to the unknown to me Kastelorizo on the easternmost part of the Aegean Sea of which our good friend Constantina and her father years ago talked abundantly and were calling me to visit. Kastelorizo is also associated with the unrealised desire of my friend Gianni Versace to acquire a house on the island... As you see, your book has brought memories well-kept in my soul.


What a talent to convey such pictures, feelings, colours and perfumes!  Each time, your readers are waiting to travel with you, to be charmed by your stories, to reveal to them hidden events of History!


When is your next book out? 


Dimitris Tsitouras, Art Collector


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