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Il Bel Centro: A Year in the Beautiful Center

Il Bel Centro: A Year in the Beautiful Center

Author(s): Michelle Damiani

Location(s): Spello

Genre(s): Autobiography/Memoirs

Era(s): Contemporary

When Michelle Damiani dreamed of living in Italy, she imagined her family as it was in Virginia—her husband filling every moment with work, her teenage son experimenting with sarcasm, her daughter smiling at the scent of lilacs, her baby-cheeked son methodically clicking Legos together, and herself hovering over the happiness of them all—only surrounded by ancient cobblestone alleys and the sound of ringing Italian.

What she didn’t know was how Italy would work to change them all.

Il Bel Centro: A Year in the Beautiful Center is the profoundly moving story of Michelle and her family’s adaptation to the people and culture of Spello, Italy.

Part searingly-honest memoir, part celebration of Umbrian life, Il Bel Centro is a page-turner with a beating heart. Michelle Damiani brings fresh perspective to the American-abroad story, and creates a sense of place so authentic that readers feel they, too, have strolled the pink-hued alleys of Spello alongside the Damiani family.

Vivid descriptions evoke the pleasures of medieval village life, from the scent of almond pastries curling into morning fog, to olive trees tossing glints of silver into the achingly blue sky.

At once hilarious and wise, this spellbinding journey will feed your soul and your wanderlust. Il Bel Centro will sweep you into the heart of Italy, where for bakers, pants are optional, and a good lunch will take you straight through till dinner.

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Enter the 2021TripFiction 'Sense of Place' Creative Writing Competition!

A story in which the location plays as important a role as the rest of your words.

2,500 word maximum, 750 word minimum

Judges include Victoria Hislop and Rosanna Ley

First Prize of £1,000 / US$1,350

Prizes total £1,750 / US$2,362 

Winning entry published on TripFiction site and publicised on Social Media

Entries close 6th November 2021