My Adventures in Italy ... (Part I)

Ciao! I arrived in Italy this past week for the International Women's Fiction Festival in Matera, Italy, and it has been non-stopping walking and talking since then. I saw Rome briefly during a long layover and got to do some basic sightseeing.
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Ciao! I arrived in Italy this past week for the International Women's Fiction Festival in Matera, Italy, and it has been non-stopping walking and talking since then. I saw Rome briefly during a long layover and got to do some basic sightseeing.

I memorized about a hundred words and phrases in Italian and was very proud of myself. But it was all for nothing when I stepped into my first cafe and had a Roman woman say "Prego," and shoot me a look like "God, I hope you're not an American who can't speak Italian to save your life."


Trevi Fountain in the
heart of Rome (Roma!).

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I then flew to Bari on the east coast of Italy, where I was picked up and driven with other presenters and attendees to the south central region of Italy—where Matera is. The city itself is a world heritage site and old as can be. It's famous for the communities that were carved out of caves over thousands of years.


The stone communities (Sassi) of Matera
are thousands of years old and have
been developed by each generation here.

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My panels have gone well so far, and I've met with writers and heard some book and article pitches. About half of the pitches were in Italian, and it's quite a thing to have someone explaining their book, and then have that explanation told through a translator who then has to translate your reaction.


The Italian woman in the middle
is telling me about her romance book
and looking for advice. The woman
on the left is translating.

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So far, it has been a lot of work and my sleep schedule is chaotic, but the country is amazing. I will be posting a lot more in the coming days—interviews with agents and panel summaries.

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