"Such beauty; and she there to see it. Such beauty; and she alive to feel it. Her face was bathed in light. Lovely scents came up to the window and caressed her. A tiny breeze gently lifted her hair. Far out in the bay a cluster of almost motionless fishing boats hovered like a flock of white birds on the tranquil seal How beautiful, how beautiful. Not to have died before this...to have been allowed to see, breathe, feel this...She stared, her lips were parted. Happy? Poor, ordinary, everyday word. But what could one say, how could one describe it? It was as though she could hardly stay inside herself, it was as though she were too small to hold so much of joy, it was as though she were washed through with light. And how astonishing to feel this sheer bliss..."
-- Elizabeth Von Arnim, "The Enchanted April"
"Sunshine and wisteria" -- that was the promise of the advertisement for a small castle on the shores of the Mediterranean that take four women to Italy in "The Enchanted April." In this book Elizabeth Von Arnim wrote about the miraculous effects of an Italian holiday and the restorative powers of Italy. It tells the story of four repressed English women who travel from England to Italy and stay in an enchanting castle for a month. Their lives change and their hearts soften because of the natural beauty of their surroundings -- the "sunshine and wisteria" of their rented castle in Italy. It is there that they find love and happiness, and are also able to liberate their true natures. Elizabeth Von Arnim wrote the book while staying at the Portofino Castello in the 1920's during the month of April.
If you are dreaming about Italy and would love to spend a month in the glorious Italian countryside, read "The Enchanted April." It will take you there. Elizabeth Von Arnim's classic book is an inspiring and delightful read and evokes all the sensual pleasures of Italy. It will make you want to go to Italy and also want to know these women.
Books and travel take us places. If you can't get to the Italian Riviera or Tuscany this summer, there are many books that will take you there. Go here for more suggestions.
Have a lovely weekend!
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