Mamma Agata’s USA Cookbook Tour!

Over the past two weeks I’ve shared with you about the Mamma Agata Cooking School on the Amalfi Coast, located in an absolutely dreamy spot in Ravello, and one of my favorite cookbooks called “Mamma Agata – Simple and Genuine.” My dear friend Chiara Lima, author of the cookbook and director of the Mamma Agata Cooking School, is about to head off to the USA for a tour celebrating her fabulous cookbook. I know many of my readers are located in America, and I’m excited to share with you the details about Chiara’s cooking and book signing events. If you love the Amalfi Coast and Italian cooking, you won’t want to miss out on meeting Chiara and picking up a copy of her cookbook. Best wishes and safe travels to Chiara as she travels across America sharing her family’s passion for cooking and the good life – Amalfi Coast style!



Mamma Agata’s Cookbook Launch

6:30 – 9:00pm – Wine Dinner and Book Signing (reservations needed)
Venue: Bernards Inn
Location: Bernardsville, NJ
Scheduled Time: 6:30 – 9:00pm
Please contact Mrs Marlene Iaciofano  at
or  Mrs Tacey Mancini at the Bernards Inn or email her at:

5:30 – 7:00pm – Reception and Book Signing
Rizzoli Book Store
31 S 57th Street
New York

Eataly – Editors and Media Event
(private event – Not open to public)
200 Fifth Avenue, 23rd Street
New York

11:30 – 1:30pm – Fundraiser luncheon for Common Threads (reservations needed)
(For reservation and tickets, please visit by October 25, 2010)
980 N Michigan Ave

6.00 -8.00 pm – Book signing and Wine tasting (reservations needed)
Lush Wine and Spirits
West Town Location
1412 West Chicago Avenue
(RSVP to Megan Richards at  by October 25, 2010)

 6.00 pm – Dinner benefiting the Sister Cities Milan Committee,
book signing and cooking demonstration (reservations needed)
(For reservation and tickets, please visit by October 25, 2010)
Phil Stefani’s 437
437 Rush Street

11.00 am – 4.00 pm – Charity Event for Meals on Wheels (reservations needed)
Patrick and Beatrice Haggerty Center
1440 West Mockingbird Lane, Dallas
(for reservation please, contact Mrs Christina Moore at 214-689-2265 or

6.30pm – 9.00 pm – Cooking class (reservations needed)
Central Market School– Plano Location
320 Coit Rd,
Plano, TX 75075
(469) 241-8389
(for tickets please contact Central Market School at

11:00am – 1:00pm – Book Signing
Galleria Store
13350 Dallas Parkway



Will you be able to meet Chiara Lima during her USA Cookbook Tour?

Tempting Tuesday: Long Beach Island Bliss with Lisa Fantino

Nothing speaks to the heart like the beach where we’ve grown up or spent many years of our life. It becomes something more than just a place to cool off on hot summer days. It is a place that soothes our souls, a place full of memories of picnics, time together with friends and family, and time spent dreaming alone. This week Lisa Fantino from Wanderlust Women Travel has stopped by to share with us about her favorite beach, Long Beach Island in New Jersey.

Welcome, Lisa!


I adore che bella vita in Italia. Don’t get me wrong. Yet, when it comes to beaches, my heart belongs to Long Beach Island in New Jersey. It has been the site of so many great events and great recuperations in my life that it would be silly for me to even think that there is any other beach like home.



LBI, or Exit 63 (on the Garden State Parkway) as locals refer to it, is a 19 mile stretch of white sand, crashing waves and bliss for this solo traveler. I discovered this treasure during my college days and have relished every moment on it since then.

The Old Barnegat Lighthouse stands watch over the northern end of the island and the closer one gets to the bird sanctuary at the southern end, the closer the lights of Atlantic City come into view. It’s the big city which seems so close but is thankfully far away.



During the summer it can take 3 hours to canvas the Boulevard. Families crowd the amusement arcade of Bay Village or the mini-golf course, while everyone from 21+ hits the bar scene. The strip is lined with the old haunts that never die like The Ketch, Nardis and of course, rock ‘n’ roll’s finest, Joe Pops.

LBI is the Jersey Shore at its best and not at its worst as some recent entertainment references might lead you to believe. However, I avoid LBI like the plague between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Many people think I’m crazy because the summer is all about your favorite beach but not in this case. I wait until the tourists and daytrippers have left the clean white sand behind and all of the traffic lights along the Boulevard have gone from a steady stream of brake light red to a flashing mellow yellow.



Off-season LBI is about autumn thunder and lightning storms on the beach, as the bolts light up the night sky and the waves rock the stilt houses. It’s all about shooting stars so close you can almost reach out and touch them. LBI in the fall is about watching the seagulls stream across the turning leaves at Barnegat Light, where Victorian mansions still dot the sparsely populated end of the island. In winter, there is nothing prettier than watching New Years Eve fireworks sparkle the horizon as snow blankets the beach. In spring, you dust yourself off and watch the island, long closeted for the cold winter, come back to life, as the shops and restaurants come back one by one.


LBI is perfection – it is catching a sunset down at the bird sanctuary where evening surfers ride the waves into a wave of purple, rose and gold. I can travel the world but Long Beach Island is where I come to find myself again.


Lisa Fantino is an award-winning journalist and attorney and the creative force behind Wanderlust Women Travel and the recently launched Italy destination wedding portal, Wanderlust Weddings. She also writes travel features for MNUI Travel Insurance and blogs as Lady Litigator.

Travel Inspirations: Looking Further Than Your Own Backyard


So far in our Travel Inspirations series we’ve been all over the world, including Italy with Robin Locker, to England & Italy with Lisa Fantino, to sunny  Naxos, Greece with Mike Sowden, to Hiroshima with Abigail King and  Australia’s Gold Coast with Cecil Lee. We’ve heard tales of beautiful travel moments and life changing travel experiences. This week, Cherrye Moore from My Bella Vita invites us back to her hometown in Texas and shares with us how this small town has made her the person she is today.

Welcome, Cherrye!



So you want to know about travel inspirations … the place that has inspired me, the one place that has made me the person I am today?

Hmmm … .

The obvious answer to that question for an expat like me is Italy. Or maybe, southern Italy or even more precisely, Calabria.

If I wanted to explore that more deeply, I might look back to my first international travel and expat experience and tell you how the City of Lights changed my life.

(It truly did. I met my husband there , moved to southern Italy, opened a bed and breakfast and embarked on my new career, all a direct result from that first trip to Paris.)

But still. I think I’d like to go back even further and talk about my hometown.

My real hometown.

Kountze, Texas.

Population 2, 171.


Cherrye Guest Post1 Photo courtesy stevesheriw on


Three stop lights, two dollar stores and one Sonic Drive-In, Dairy Queen and Crawdad’s Convenience Store.

There was little for a growing girl to do in the big metropolis of K-Town, as it is affectionately referred to by the fans of our state champion basketball team. I spent my childhood playing outside with any one of my 28 cousins-in the dirt road that passed by grandma’s house, no less-writing plays, videoing our adventures and making up stories to tell the younger kids.

In that day and time, there were no 500+ Satellite channels to choose from, there was no Wii this or X-box that. There was just me and my family and our grand ideas.

We’d talk about the places we wanted to go, the things we wanted to do, the people we wanted to become … and we couldn’t wait to get out of that place.


Cherrye Guest Post2Photo courtesy Exquisitely Bored in Nacogdoches on


Away from the small-town, everybody-knows-everybody-mentality and into the real world.

The real world-where we could walk down the street unnoticed, meet people who don’t say “ya’ll” and “fixin’ to,” and where we could grow into the adults we wanted to be.

But in reality, no other place captures my heart like that dusty little town in southeast Texas.

It made me the person I am today, taught me the things I needed to know and instilled in me the dreams that would one day carry me far away.

And for that I love it.

Now that I’m gone, my heart aches for those bumpy dirt roads and big ‘ole pickup trucks-the familiar accents, friendly faces and welcoming embraces of the people who live there.

The people who never left.

Because in the end, life is more than the towers you’ve climbed, the frequent flyer miles you’ve accumulated and the historical places you can check off of the proverbial list. Like Dorothy said as she clicked her heels together three times … there’s no place like home. And that’s the most inspirational place, of all.



Cherrye Moore is a freelance writer and Calabria tour consultant living in southern Italy. She writes about travel for MNUI Travel Insurance and about living and traveling in Calabria on her site, My Bella Vita.

Greetings from the Heartland of America

Mt. Vesuvius

Ciao a tutti! I am writing now from Nebraska, the heartland of America, where I was born and where I have just arrived for a Springtime visit with family. So perhaps I should say, “Howdy partner!” I will be traveling around the midwest for the next couple of weeks, but I will keep the posts coming. Travel always gives me time to think, and I have some interesting plans for Ciao Amalfi in the upcoming weeks. But right now, the jetlag is winning . . .