By Louisa Loring
Numerous writers are drawn to Italy for inspiration and gain a wider view and understanding of the world and history including the widely published and award-winning journalist, Dianne Hales who has been coming to Italy for research, travel and study for decades. A native born American, she now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her family, keeping busy with her writing. Throughout her long career as a journalist, she has been a contributing editor for various magazines such as Parade and American Health as well as a constant writer for The New York Times, Readers' Digest, Washington Post and Woman's Day, amongst many others.
Dianne has won numerous prizes for her books and publications about health. Her books include: La Bella Lingua, Think Thin, Be Thin, Just Like a Woman and Caring for the Mind. She also is the author of the best-selling college health textbook, An Invitation to Health, and coauthor of An Invitation to Personal Change. At a certain point, Dianne fell in love with learning the Italian language which pushed her to study for over two decades both in Italy and in the U.S. through classes, conversation groups, CD’s and films. In learning Italian, Dianne realized that she had not only learned a new language but also, acquired a new understanding of the world through the Italian culture. Slowly but surely, Dianne found herself falling in love with the language, country, people and culture from which she drew inspiration for her book La Bella Lingua, which takes readers through a journey about the Italian language by knitting together etymology, stories and unexpected connections and experiences in Italy.
Today, Dianne continues to share her ever-growing knowledge of Italian through blogging. Great for prospective students wanting to dive into the language and also, native Italian speakers, her blog and website offer a vast amount of information in the hopes to share what the Italian language has thought her about living, or rather, the art of living. Lately, Dianne has been working on her most recent book, Mona Lisa: A Life Discovered, which is scheduled to come out in August 2014.
When visiting Florence in one of her many trips, Dianne found herself asking where the real Mona Lisa came from and what is her story. And she did just that. With Mona Lisa: A Life Discovered, she uncovers the story of Lisa Gherardini, the girl in the most famous painting in the world by Leonardo da Vinci through a thrilling mix of history, biography, and memoir. She paints a picture of Florence in fine detail, emphasizing its beauty and cultural and historical richness by taking readers through her life and exploring her daily rituals and lifestyle, bringing in character from decedents living today.