Ten Things I Remember from My Italy Tour by Aubrie Dionne

Ten Things I Remember from My Italy Tour


So why did I write a book called An American Girl in Italy?? Because I was an American Girl in Italy! I didn’t have a whirlwind romance like my main character, Carly Davis. I was in high school-with chaperones- but that doesn’t mean I didn’t have the time of my life! Here are the top ten things I remember from my trip.



#1. Gelato. I learned that word pretty quick. Oh man, it was so good- rich and creamier than ice cream in all sorts of flavors. I remember going to every gelato shop I could find and barley pronouncing the flavors. Even if I had no idea what I was ordering, I knew I couldn’t go wrong.

#2. The Coliseum. Everyone had talked this up so much, I was disappointed when I saw it for real. It was old and crumbly and gave off some weird vibes. I can’t imagine how many people died there. This was not the highlight of my trip. Maybe now that I’m older I could go back and appreciate the history of it better than my teenage self.


#3. St. Peter’s Basilica. This place was so grand, I couldn’t even fit enough of it in my camera to encompass the awe- inspiring majesty. It was just plain gorgeous and left me breathless.

#4. Michelangelo. Yes, I did meet a guy named Michelangelo on my trip. But, he’s nothing like the Michelangelo in my book. Actually, he was a shy teenage boy living in one of the host families houses. We played air hockey and that was it. End of story.

#5. Barber’s Adagio. This is one of the pieces the orchestra played. It’s written for strings, so the winds have to sit and listen to the entire thing without playing. It is such a gorgeous piece, I remember listening to the string play the swelling tones at our last concert with tears running down my face. It was a culmination of the entire trip, and the fact that it was over. Awesome moment.

#6. The death mask of Giuseppe Verdi- 1813-1901. So Verdi was a composer, and we visited his house in St. Agata . Inside they had this stone death mask, the impression taken from his face at the time of his death. A few of his hairs had been lodged in the clay. You could still see them in the mask. So, this is what a teenage girl remembers when she visits Italy. Hmmmm…..

#7. The strange looking shells on the Mediterranean Sea. So we spent one day at the beach. I remember collecting these strange swirly shells I’d never seen before- at least not on the coast of NH. Made me think of the different marine life that must inhabit the Mediterranean Sea. I think my mom still has the shells in my room in some shoe box somewhere.

#8. One of my host families giving my cakes and cookies for breakfast. There was this gigantic plate of pastries, cookies, and éclairs on the table. I remember the Italian mom saying- please eat, EAT! She didn’t understand why I could only eat one or two of them! I remember thinking- is this how everyone eats breakfast? If so, then, I’d like to stay, thank you very much!

#9. David Commanday- my orchestra conductor who has since moved on to become a famous conductor around the world. I remember sitting around a table in a garden and asking him if he enjoyed the movie Amadeus. It was probably the only time I’d ever had the courage to speak to him directly.

#10. The beauty of the countryside. All of Carly’s descriptions in An American Girl in Italy are from my own memories of the trip. Pick up your copy and to see what I’m talking about today!


Aubrie Dionne-2

Aubrie Dionne is an author and flutist in New England. Her books have received the highest ratings from Romance Times Magazine and BTS Magazine, as well as Night Owl Reviews and Two Lips Reviews. She has guest blogged on the USA Today Happy Ever After Blog and the Dear Teen Me blog and signed books at the Boston Book Festival, Barnes and Noble, and the Romance Writers of America conference. Her books are published by HarperImpulse, Entangled Publishing, Astraea Press, Spencer Hill Press, Inkspell Publishing, and Lyrical Press. When she’s not writing, Aubrie teaches flute and plays in orchestras.


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