LDVU

OVERVIEW

Italy awaits! With or without a plane ticket

Come travel with La Dolce Vita University (LDVU) to the heart of Italian culture in the seductive spirit of la dolce vita. Like a box of Italian sweets, LDVU is the perfect sampler to indulge anyone curious about—or already in amore with—Italy and its remarkably rich trove of cultural treasures. In dozens of entertaining yet authoritative mini-essays, LDVU lets you explore, at your leisure and pleasure, fascinating aspects of Italy’s cuisine, history, art, traditions, style, legendary personalities, and so much more. Even the most sophisticated Italophile will discover dazzling new facts and illuminating new insights in these pages. Charmingly illustrated, La Dolce Vita University brings Italy to life with wit, exuberance and joy—a celebration of why we love Italy.

ABOUT CARLA



Lannie Hart

Illustrator

Michael Stein

Editor

PRAISE & REVIEWS

The title—La Dolce Vita University—captures the great virtues of this reader-friendly book perfectly: it’s delicious and educational at the same time, with each virtue reinforcing the other.

This book sustains that combination masterfully. It is a complete delight to read, but (as a professor of Renaissance literature for many decades) I’m happy to report that the authors know their stuff. The research is careful and the analysis is intelligent and witty. I learned amazing new things about dozens of topics—Artemisia, Burano, Casanova, Dante, and onward through the alphabet to zanni. It’s written in prose as clear, bright, crisp, and lively as a spring morning in the Dolomites. Add to that graceful but also playful prose, the talent of skilled storytellers, and it’s no wonder that the entries stay so fascinating.

La Dolce Vita University makes me crave a return to Italy, and helps me daydream that I’m already there. Like an ideal platter of antipasti, it’s made of deliciously varied bites you can pick your way through. If you want—or want to give a friend—an appetizer that will rouse up a hunger for the glory and festivity of that wonderful place and its no less wonderful culture, this book is perfect.”

Robert N. Watson, PhD.
Distinguished Professor of English,
Associate Vice-Provost for Educational Innovation, UCLA



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An enlightening, entertaining guide to the history behind so much of what we love about Italian cuisine and culture. As a chef and cooking enthusiast I enjoyed the variety of information and perspective on the Italian and Sicilian culture. From antiquity to today, reading this special history written with color and style is a pure joy for the food aficionado and any lover of Italy. You won’t want to miss reading through any part of this book.”

Chef Bert Cutino, CEC, AAC, HOF, WCMC
Co-Founder/COO
The Sardine Factory Restaurant, Cannery Row, Monterey, CA



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La Dolce Vita University is an authentic full immersion in Italian culture, history, art, traditions, and more. Fun, funny, and informative. Brava!”

Cristiano Bonino
Founder & Director
Food.Stories.Travel



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Imagine it as a dessert course of dark chocolates, filled with exotic fruits and nuts, packed knowledge and love of history and art and her own wisdom and wit, Italian, American, global.

The chocolates are alphabetically listed, described and presented beautifully, and offered as something to dip into as you wish. You open it, choose the one you think you will like best, then another, and another. Suddenly it’s gone. Because Carla wears her scholarship lightly, you don’t feel over full, but what a feast!”

Denise Scott Brown RIBA, Int. FRIBA
Winner of the Jane Drew Prize for Women in Architecture

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For someone who is of Italian heritage and anyone who loves Italian food, wine, and culture, this is a must read. Loved it!”

Ted J. Balestreri
Chairman & CEO, Cannery Row Company, Monterey, CA

Recipient of the National Restaurant Association’s Legends Award



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Carla is the consummate Italian. Mille grazie for sharing your extensive knowledge, insights and fascinating little-known backstories with such affection and humor!”

Joan Tucci
Co-Author, The Tucci Cookbook



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Excellent! Bravissima! Delightfully informative, a book to enrich any reader’s life with a greater appreciation of Italian culture—even in everyday experiences here at home, from visiting an art museum to dining in a local Italian restaurant, or from cooking for friends and family to the usage of common expressions and words. Not to mention, it might just inspire you to hop on a plane!”

Commendatore Professor Carlo Sclafani
Suny Distinguished Professor,
Former Chairperson of the Modern Languages Department at Westchester Community College



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An obvious love of all things Italian is evident in every essay of this quirky, delicious, and absolutely delightful book. From A to Z topics are peppered with insights, memories, fun factoids, and the intrigues of history. Whether you are a seasoned globetrotter or an armchair-traveler, La Dolce Vita University will inspire you to dig deeper into the magic and allure of Italia.”

Tara Coniaris
Secretary, Board of Trustees at Katonah Museum of Art



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I believe that most rewarding travel experiences are those that engage the senses and enrich you emotionally and intellectually. Reading La Dolce Vita University is a great armchair vacation that captures the essence of Italy. This is the one book to read before visiting Italy—or to put you in the mood for your next one.”

Lauren Hefferon
Founder & Director
Ciclismo Classico and Travel Vision Journeys



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EXCERPTS

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LDVU’s 165 mini-essays surprise, intrigue and “edu-tain.” Collectively they begin to express what Carla finds so endlessly captivating about “the Boot.” Their organization appears as alphabetical. But nothing is ever quite that straightforward when it comes to Italy. Even if you choose to read the book sequentially you may very well feel as though you’re wandering the mysterious alleys of a medieval town, the hidden vicoli of a larger city, or even along the serpentine canals of La Serenissima. Unexpected connections emerge and fresh discoveries await around each corner. Or perhaps you’ll choose to dip in and out of this volume at random. Either way, just relax—you’re in Italia!—and enjoy the passeggiata. It will lead you to new insights and marvelous revelations. Italy is a glorious and fascinating mosaic. Consider the following passages just a few of its glittering tesserae.

Readers who are planning to visit a specific Italian city or region may wish to consult the special LDVU Traveler’s Topic Index at the end of the book.

» Download La Dolce Vita University's table of contents (PDF)
» Download La Dolce Vita University's excerpts (PDF)


BARBELLS AND BIKINIS

INNER ITALIAN

LEONE

GELATO, AMBROSIA OF THE BOOT

Upcoming Events

UPCOMING

Sept 19 through 29:  Bike Across Italy: The "ottimo" immersive cycling experience in Italy; cycle from the Adriatic to the Mediterrean coast and experience the sweeping landscapes, charming Medieval Hilltowns, culinary pleasures and cultural richness of Tuscany, Umbria (and bits of Marche and Lazio); La Dolce Vita University in collarboration with Ciclismo Classico https://ciclismoclassico.com/trips/bike-tour-italy/

OCTOBER

Wed Oct 3, 7 PM:
The Alchemy of Italy; explore Italy's outsized influence on Western Civilization and the "cultural DNA" that helps explain it; presentation and book signing, Harrison Library, 2 Bruce Avenue, Harrison NY 10528 (914) 835-0324 https://www.harrisonpl.org/

Sun  Oct 7, 3-5:30 PM: The Music & Cultural of Italy presented by Westchester Community College, muscial program by Teo Ricciardella; The Alchemy of Italy presentation and book signing by Carla Gambescia; reception with light refreshments; 75 Grasslands Road, Valhalla, NY

Columbus Day, Mon Oct 8 4:00 PM:  La Dolce Vita "U" presents "Trivial Pursuit" Italian-Style; test your knowledge, discover surprising fun facts, win prizes; in collaboration with the Italian American Museum and Capri Ristorante 145 Mulberry Street, NY, NY

Thu Oct 11, 2-3:30 PM: Leading Ladies of the Renaissance discover the woman behind many of the world's most beloved paintings; $35 course fee; Main Line School Night Association, 260 Gulph Creek Rd., Radnor, PA 19087, 610 687 0460 http://www.mainlineschoolnight.org/CourseStatus.awp?&course=18FAA41001

Thu Oct 11, 4-5:30 PM: Italian Culture A to Z; What food was considered scandalous if consumed by woemn during the Renaissance? Whis is the Bellini called the Bellini, Carpaccio, Carpaccio? Test your knowledge and discover surprising new facts and insights; $35 course fee; Main Line School Night Association, 260 Gulph Creek Rd., Radnor, PA 19087, 610 687 0460 http://www.mainlineschoolnight.org/CourseStatus.awp?&course=18FLH41002

Fri Oct 12, 5:30-8:00 PM: American-Italy Society of Philadelphia Annual Gala; La Dolce Vita University presents An Italian Cultural Trivia Challenge, 2005 Market Street, 26th Floor, $175 for AIS Members, $200 for Non-Members ($100 is tax deductable) 215 735 3250  https://www.aisphila.org/

Sun Oct 14, 3 PM:  The Alchemy of Italyexplore Italy's outsized influence on Western Civilization and the "cultural DNA" that helps explain it presentation and book signing, Garibaldi-Meucci Museum, 420 Tompkins Ave.     Staten Island, NY 10305, 718-442-1608 info@garibaldimeuccimuseum.org

Tue Oct 16, 4 PMThe Alchemy of Italy; explore Italy's outsized influence on Western Civilization and the "cultural DNA" that helps explain it; presentation and book signing, Center for Italian Studies, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY 11794-3358, 631 632 7444                                                                                                                

Thurs Oct 18, 12 PM: The Alchemy of Italy; explore Italy's outsized influence on Western Civilization and the "cultural DNA" that helps explain it;  presentation and book signing, Il Cenacolo, San Francisco Italian American Club, 1630 Stockton St. San Francisco, CA  94133 www.ilcenacolosf.org/    
                                                                       
Fri Oct 19, 12 PM: The Alchemy of Italy
explore Italy's outsized influence on Western Civilization and the "cultural DNA" that helps explain it; presentation and book signing, Commonwealth Club of San Francisco, 110 The Embarcadero San Francisco, CA 94105 Open to the public; free to Members, $20 for non-members
https://www.commonwealthclub.org/events/2018-10-19/unconventional-guide-italys-la-dolce-vita-culture

         
Fri Oct 19, 6:00 PM: "Trivial Pursuit” Italian-Style, test your knowledge and discover surprising new facts and insights; molto bene Bolognese e insalata dinner; San Francisco Italian Athletic Club 1630 Stockton St, San Francisco, CA 94133  this event is open to the public, $25 with cash bar,; (415) 781 0165 www.sfiac.org/

Sat Oct 20, 2018 5-9 PM LitQuake / Lit Crawl of San Francisco 8 PM https://litcrawlsanfrancisco2018.sched.com/cgambescia

Tue Oct 23, 7 PM: Leading Ladies of the Renaissance, presentation and book signing; The Italian Cultural Foundation at Casa Belvedere, 79 Howard Ave. Staten Island, NYThe http://www.casa-belvedere.org/blog/

Sun Oct 28, 5 PM: Italian Cultural Trivia Challenge, test your knowledge and discover surprising new facts and insights; co-sponsored by Dante Alighieri Society of Massachusetts and Pirandello Lyceum, 41 Hampshire St. Cambridge Ma 02139 (617) 876 5160 www.dantemass.org

NOVEMBER

Sat Nov 3, 1 PM: The Alchemy of Italy: Explore Italy's outsized influence on Western Civilization and the "cultural DNA" that helps explain it presentation and book signing presentation, Mahopac Library 668 Route Six Mahopac, NY 1054,  845-628-2009 sponser by the Italian American Club of Mahopac www.italianamericanclubofmahopac.org

Tue Nov 6,  6:30 – 8:00PM: The Alchemy of Italy: Explore Italy's outsized influence on Western Civilization and the "cultural DNA" that helps explain it presentation and book signing,The Italian Cultural Foundation at Casa Belvedere, 79 Howard Ave. Staten Island, NYThe http://www.casa-belvedere.org/blog/

Mon Nov 12, Sicily Meet-up Trivia Challenge Italian Style -- test your knowledge and discover new fun facts; presenation and book signing details to follow

Wed Nov 14, 8 6:30 – 8:00PM: Italian Cultural Trivia Challenge, Eataly Chicago -- La Scuola, 43 East Ohio St. Chicago IL 60611, 312.521.8700 Extension 468 
https://www.eataly.com/us_en/from-italy-to-america-talk-italianity-with-carla-gambescia-2018-11-14-4730

Thur Nov 15, 7:00 PM; Italian Culture A to Z; What food was considered scandalous if consumed by woemn during the Renaissance? Whis is the Bellini called the Bellini, Carpaccio, Carpaccio? Test your knowledge and discover surprising new facts and insights; presenatation and book sigining, Casa Italia, Italian Cultural Center 3800 Division Street Stone Park, IL 60165  708.345.5933 http://casaitaliachicago.org/

Fri Nov 16,  6:30 – 8:00PM: Trivia Night Italian-Style, Read It and Eat; test your knowledge. discover fun  facts, win prizes; 2142 N. Halsted Street, Chicago, IL 60614;  (773) 661-6158

Wed Nov 28,  6:30 PM: Italian Cultural Trivia Challenge, test your knowledge and discover suprising new facts and insights; American Italian Cultural Center 537 South Peters Street New Orleans, LA 70130 (504) 522-7294  http://americanitalianculturalcenter.com/

DECEMBER

Sat Dec 1, 6:00 - 8:00 PM;  Trivia Night Italian-Style and Dinner; What food was considered scandalous if consumed by woemn during the Renaissance? Whis is the Bellini called the Bellini, Carpaccio, Carpaccio? Test your knowledge and discover surprising new facts and insightshttps://www.eataly.com/us_en/classes-and-events/nyc-flatiron/trivia-challenge-night-italian-style-with-carla-gambescia-2018-12-01-5169

Wed Dec 5, 7 PM: Italian Cultural Trivia Challenge, test your knowledge and discover surprising new facts and insights; Co-sponsored by The Bookworm and Bernardsville Library, 1 Anderson Hill Rd, Bernardsville, NJ 07924  (908) 766 0118 www.bernardsvillelibrary.org/

Thurs Dec 6, 11 AM: The Alchemy of Italy; explore Italy's outsized influence on Western Civilization and the "cultural DNA" that helps explain it presentation and book signing, Senior Men’s Association of Stamford, Congregation Agudath Sholom,  Colonial Road at Strawberry Hill Avenue Stamford, CT 06906 www./stamfordsrmen.com/   

Tue Dec 11, 6:30- 8:00; Trivia Night Italian-Style and Dinner; What food was considered scandalous if consumed by woemn during the Renaissance? Whis is the Bellini called the Bellini, Carpaccio, Carpaccio? Test your knowledge and discover surprising new facts and insights; https://www.eataly.com/us_en/classes-and-events/boston

2019

March 2019
Sun Mar 3, 4 PM:  Alchemy of Italy; explore Italy's outsized influence on Western Civilization and the "cultural DNA" that helps explain it; presentation and book signing, Museo Italo Americano, 2 Marina Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94123 (415) 673 2200 94123 www. museoitaloamericano.org/

Fri  Mar 29, 7 PM: Trivia Challenge Italian Style -- test your knowledge and discover new fun facts; presenation and book signing; Huntington Public Library; 338 Main Street, Huntington, NY 11743 (631) 427 5165 http://www.myhpl.org/

APRIL

Sun Apr 28, 2:30 PM:
The Alchemy of Italy; explore Italy's outsized influence on Western Civilization and the "cultural DNA" that helps explain it; presentation and book signing, Huntington Public Library; 338 Main Street, Huntington, NY 11743 (631) 427 5165 http://www.myhpl.org/


PREVIOUS

SEPTEMBER

Fri Sept 7, 7 PM: Trivia Challenge Italian Style -- test your knowledge and discover suprising new facts; espresso and cannoli reception;  Westchester Italian Cultural Center, One Generoso Pope Place, Tuckahoe, NY 10707  /wiccny.org/


Sat Sept 1, 4 PM: Explore Booksellers 21 East Main Street,  Aspen, CO, La Dolce Vita "U" presents Trivial Pursuit Italian Style; test your knowledge, discover new fun facts, win prizes; vino e formaggio reception

AUGUST

Sat Aug 25, 3:30 PM: Arthur Avenue Summer Concert Series presents a Foodie Trivia Challenge  by La Dolce Vita "U"; test your knowledge. discover fun  facts, win prizes; , East 186th Street and Arthur Avenue, Bronx, NY 

Sat Aug 4, 11-2 PM: Join Feeding Westchester, Cheftini and La Dolce Vita "U" for a bookfair, cooking demonstration and Italian culinary trivia challenge. A percentage of your book purchases will benefit Feeding Westchester.  Barnes & Noble Eastchester, Vernon Hills Shopping Center, 680 Post Road, Eastchester NY 10583

JULY

Fri July 20, 4 PM: Italian Foodie Trivia Challenge presented by La Dolce Vita "U"; test your knowledge. discover fun  facts, win prizes; Arthur Avenue Summer Concert Series, East 186th Street and Arthur Avenue, Bronx, NY 


JUNE

Wed June 6, 7 PM, Trivia Challenge Italian Style and book signing, The Ridgefield Library in collaboration with Books on the Common, 472 Main Street, Ridgefield, CT 203 438-2282

Sun June 10, 4 PM, Trivia Challenge Italian Style, Book Signing, Wine & Cheese Reception Larchmont Public Library, Larchmont, NY 10538

MAY

Thurs May 31, 7 PM
The Alchemy of Italy presentation and Book Signing, Warner Library 121 North Broadway, Tarrytown NY 10591

Thurs May 17, 6-8 PM, La Dolce Vita Giro d'Italia ” Spin, Spuntini,Vino,  Raffle & Book SigningEquinox of Armonk

Wed May 23, 7:30 PM Trivia Challenge Italian-Style and Book Signing. Head House Books, 619 South 2nd Street, Philadelphia, PA

Wed May 16, 6:30 PM The Alchemy of Italy presentation and book signing, Columbus Citizens Foundation, 8 East 69th Street NY, NY, 10021 http://columbuscitizens.org/events

Mon May 7, 4 PM, The Alchemy of Italy presentation and book signing Bronxville Public Library, 201 Pondfield Road, Bronxville, NY10708

Sat May 5, 6 PM Trivia Challenge Italian-Style, I AM Books, 189 North St. Boston, MA 857 263 7665 https://www.iambooksboston.com/

Thurs May 3, 6:30 Meet the Authors Wine & Cheese, Elm Street Books, 35 Elm Street, New Canaan, CT o6840 http://www.elmstreetbooks.com/

APRIL

Sat April 28, 4 PM, Triva Challenge Italian Style, Book Passage Corte Madera, 51 Tamal Vista Blvd., Corte Madera, CA

Sat April 21, 7:00 PM, Trivia Challenge Italian-Style, Dolphin Books and Cafe,  299 Main Street, Port Washington, NY;  Register by phone $5 518 767 2650 .http://thedolphinbookshop.com/index.html

Thurs April 19, 6:30 PM, The Alchemy of Italy presentation and book signing Westchester Italian Cultural Center, One Generoso Pope Place, Tuckahoe, NY 10707 - http://wiccny.org/

Fri April 13, 6:30 – 8:30 PM, Main Line School Night, Creutzburg Center 102, 260 Gulph Creek Rd. Radnor, PA 19087.

Mon April 9, 7-9 PM, Circolo DaVinci at Little Sorrento's RTE 202 in Parkside Mall 3565 Crompond Road, Cortlandt Manor, NY 10567. Dinner and presentation $35 per person.

Mon April 2, 7-10 PM, Sicilian Meet-Up and Cultural Trivia Night, 83 1/3 Restaurant, 345 East 83rd Street, NY, NY

MARCH

Sat March 24, 4 PM, Katonah Village Library, 26 Bedford Road, Katonah, New York 10536

FEBRUARY

(Pre-launch) Thurs Feb. 22, 6:30 PM, Italian American Museum, 155 Mulberry Street, NY

 

 




Contact

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Carla@LaDolceVitaU.com

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