Jan Stafford Kellis

A Pocketful of Light

A Pocketful of Light
$13.99 paperback, or $4.99 on Kindle!
Publication Year: 2011
Length: Non-fiction travel tale
ASIN: 1461187494
ISBN: 9781461187493

Culture. Couture. Cuisine.Italy has it all and she's willing to share. Explore the world's first tourist destination with this thoroughly researched and enjoyed trip of a lifetime. This true story of a mother-daughter trip incorporates the traditional triumvirate (Venice-Florence-Rome) with Tuscany and the Amalfi Coast, resulting in a perfect armchair tour of urban and rural Italy.

Written with a light, entertaining voice, reading this book may cause an irresistible urge to travel to Italy.

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About the Book

Culture. Couture. Cuisine.
Italy has it all and she’s willing to share. Explore the world’s original tourist destination with this thoroughly researched and enjoyed trip of a lifetime. Share this delightful Italian adventure as Jan and her daughter meet old friends, make new ones and discover the myriad ways travel can expand and improve relationships and change the way we see the world. Incorporating the traditional triumvirate (Venice-Florence-Rome) with Tuscany and the Amalfi Coast, their trip is a perfect blend of urban and rural Italy.

A Pocketful of Light features the Fibonacci Sequence, a few non-painful history lessons and some funky Italian phrases as well as the friendly recounting of two travelers exploring the second greatest country in the world.

Warning: Reading this book may cause an irresistible urge to travel to Italy.

We asked the author:
What inspired you to write about your trip to Italy?

Italy has always fascinated me: the food, the fashion, the culture, the history. Writing about our whole experience provided a method to remember the sights and sounds, and to share the lessons and tips we learned with others who are interested in traveling to Italy. When my sixteen-year-old daughter announced that she didn’t want to go to Italy, and didn’t want to be away from home that long, my first (secret) thought was, ‘the added controversy will be perfect for the book!’
The preparation and planning were all-consuming—I spent eighteen months envisioning the trip, adding sights to our itinerary, then removing them again, finding restaurants and hotels, making reservations, etc. I even contacted our friend Siw, from Oslo, Norway, who lived with us for a year in the mir-eighties as part of a foreign exchange student program. We hadn’t seen each other in twenty-five years, so part of the trip was a mini family reunion. If my book can save another traveler some planning time, or help them think of a detail they hadn’t thought of before, then I’m happy.
The finished product provides budget information, itinerary ideas, resources, and a recipe for Puttanesca along with an easy-reading story about our trip. My daughter has read the book several times, and she promised me next time I take her to Europe, she won’t say she wants to go home every day.

Do you have one favorite tip for travelers?

When you’re traveling to a foreign country, especially if you don’t speak the language, the pocket itinerary cheat sheet is invaluable. When we landed in Venice, the airport itself was a bit overwhelming. I’d thought I was ready for the Italian language, having practiced and learned some rudimentary vocabulary, but the first time we asked someone for directions and they blasted us with rapid-fire Italian, I had to ask them to repeat themselves three times. My pocket itinerary cheat sheet contained lists of basic directions to and from each hotel along our circuit, so when we landed at an airport or train station, we’d know exactly which direction to go next. When leaving the hotel a few days later, we’d know where to check the schedules, where to board the plane or train, and the fastest way to get there. Taking the time to figure all of this out from home saved us tons of stress and time during the vacation.

Will you travel to Italy again?

I hope so! It was meant to be a once-in-a-lifetime trip, but it’s definitely worth a second visit. I still have a list of places we didn’t have time to visit the first time around.


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