Ilene & Gary Modica,
Our Italian Journey the book,

Here are some FAQ, frequently asked questions we seem to get asked more than any others. Of course, if you have a question and we haven’t addressed it here, please feel free to contact us. We’re pretty much an open book – no pun intended!

FAQ for Our Italian Journey the book -
How did you decide on the title of the book?
It’s quite funny as we went round and round for about six-months on what the title should be. We regularly emailed or asked our family. Lists were made, names crossed out and added. Then finally, the consensus was to just call it the same as the blog!
When did we first realize we wanted to write the book?
It was after a month or two in Rome while wandering the streets, enjoying the food and wine, and revisiting the historic sites. We realized we wanted to share this journey with our followers and ultimately everyone who loves Italy as much as we do.
What was the writing process like?
We actually wanted to both tell the story as it unfolded. We “borrowed” the alternating chapter concept from our author friends, Nancy and John Petralia from their wonderful book, Not in a Tuscan Villa. We each took turns writing about the places we visited, the people we met, and the experiences we encountered.
Do we really know the movie, Under the Tuscan Sun by heart?
Yes, we both do! It is still today one of our favorites and we always enjoy watching with a glass of wine and a bowl of popcorn.
What was the best money ever spent writing this book?
We can easily say the answer would be our amazing editor, Ann. Ilene’s been working on learning Italian but she never realized how poorly she wrote English!
What did we edit out of this book?
Just small insignificant experiences that didn’t really enhance our journey. One example was a survey we were asked to take at the Santa Maria Novella train station in Florence. The man couldn’t believe how much we enjoy train travel in Italy yet never use this form of transportation in the United States.
Have we always wanted to be a writer?
For Gary, he never had any thoughts of writing a book while Ilene on the other hand, always dreamed of writing a children’s book.
Do you have any writing expectations for the future?
Who knows what the future will bring and what experiences we might want to share.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
You need to write from the heart and about something you are passionate about. Of course, this advice is for non-fiction. But for any other kind of writing, just try it. See where it leads, you never know.
What did a typical writing day in Italy look like?
It always started with a glass of Italian red wine. Only when the weather was bad did we really ever spend a full-day writing. It was snipits of time, here and there, in the different towns we stayed in.
What was your favorite part of the book?
That’s an easy question for Gary. VIsiting Licodia Eubea where my grandfather was born and raised and a town we will always be apart of. Of course, getting our Italian birth and marriage certificates on my birthday just made it extra special. Gary’s answer is certainly one of mine too but I would add the experience we had in Scafati. An evening with Giuseppe and his parents, Gilda and Felice, a moment and experience I will treasure forever.
If the book was to be made into a movie, who are the celebrities that would star in it?
Gary’s choice would be Tom Selleck and an easy choice for Ilene would be Diane Lane, after all, she already has the experience!

We hope you find our FAQ, frequently asked questions informative, and hopefully, we touched on some answers you might not have known about us!

I’ve been following Ilene and Gary’s blog, Our Italian Journey, since the beginning of their adventure, and I was delighted to see they’d written a book about their travels! This book is a love letter to Italy, and the three-year culmination of their life-long dream to become Italian citizens! Their story is also a tribute to the desire many Americans have — to return to the land of their ancestors — and a chance to imagine life in small villages with cobblestone streets and flower boxes attached to ancient walls. From loving descriptions of the exquisite food to stories of all the lovely people they meet through this year-long adventure, you’ll find a treasure on every page. I highly recommend this book!

Maureen Hannon

We have been contemplating a move to Italy for quite some time and this was the perfect book for us to read while perusing Italian real estate listings. It was a fun read but also inspiring and informative. We travel in much the same way as Ilene and Gary, usually renting a small place and exploring the local surroundings (and finding the closest market) right away. We could really imagine ourselves in their shoes as we read. We were fortunate to meet Ilene and Gary on a trip to Italy in September 2021, though we only sent an email to them as we were on the train to Lucca. They were so warm and welcoming and even introduced us to many of their friends. We hope to stay in touch for many years!

Sophia & Ramu
Ilene & Gary Modica,

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