Thursday, May 10, 2018

Blog Tour + Review + Giveaway - Sass, Smarts and Stilettos

Title: Sass, Smarts, and Stilettos: How Italian Women Mae the Ordinary Extraordinary Author: Gariella Contestabile | Category: Women's Fiction | Genre: Travel, Arts, Fashion, Self-Help | Publisher: Sumisura Publications | Release date: November 2017

Description: 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 goodbye 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.

My Thoughts: Every so often a book comes along at just the right time with just the right message. As an Italian-American who just moved overseas (again), I was questioning the transient lifestyle my husband and I have created especially now that it affects our young son. Enter Sass, Smarts & Stilettos. Reading a book written by someone who experienced multiple international relocations as a child was uncanny as I struggle to figure out if/where we should settle down. Beyond that immediate connection, it spoke of home to me. Even though I grew up in America, so many of the traditions, foods and feelings expressed throughout this enchanting book were immediately familiar. I know, as I've always known, that the Italian in me is what makes me who I am. I recently met a lovely new (Italian) friend in London (my current home) and was struck by how easy it was to get along with her. Her warmth and zest for life was upfront and obvious from the moment she crossed the room to introduce herself. For me this book made me remember who I am. It also made me want to immediately take inventory of my closet and toss everything that doesn't make me feel good. I even took the author's advice and tried on my outfits for a weekend away -- which saved me from bringing too much and from bringing something that I didn't realize was stained beyond saving. Speaking of the author, she writes like we are her best friends or maybe her sisters as she passes on little lessons she's learned along the way. She's the smart, stylish friend you've always wanted or wanted to be. There is so much thoughtful, smart and compelling information wrapped into charming vignettes about life, love, food, fashion, family, art and history -- the Italian way. If you have even a drop of Italian in you (or know someone who does), you'll love Sass, Smarts & Stilettos. And if you don't, you'll enjoy a glimpse into the wonderful way that Italians live. Hmm, maybe we should make one more Italy.

Buy the Book:

About 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

Enter the Giveaway! Win a $15 Amazon gift card (open international / 2 winners total). Ends May 19, 2018. Click HERE to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway. Buona fortuna!

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