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Bella Figura: How to Live, Love, and Eat the Italian Way

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  1,136 ratings  ·  170 reviews
One woman's story of finding beauty, and herself--and a practical guide to living a better life, the Italian way!

Kamin Mohammadi, a magazine editor in London, should have been on top of the world. But after heartbreak and loneliness, the stress of her "dream life" was ruining her physical and mental health. Gifted a ticket to freedom--a redundancy package and the offer
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published May 8th 2018 by Appetite by Random House (first published April 5th 2018)
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Average rating 3.88  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,136 ratings  ·  170 reviews

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Kate Vocke (bookapotamus)
Apr 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, winner-winner
Must. Move. To Italy. Now.

This is one of those books where you can live vicariously though the author and feel like you are living their life (and truly wishing you could!) Part 'Under the Tuscan Sun', a dash of 'Bridget Jones' Diary' and some hints of "Eat, Pray, Love" I am dreaming of Florence, it's people, it's food, and can easily picture the beautiful scenery after reading this!

Kamin is stuck. Shes in a bit of a rut professionally, personally, and mentally. The stresses of everyday life
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Kamin Mohammadi moves to Italy for respite from the stressful and unhappy life she has created for herself in London. She begins again, guided by new Italian friends, and, without really doing anything other than embracing the delights of a real life, with real food, real people, and real activities, she finds happiness and acceptance.

Mohammadi is a beautiful writer, and this book is a joy to read.
Apr 19, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: memoir
I received a free digital copy in exchange for an honest review.

I really wanted to love this book - I love memoirs, Italian culture, and stories of Americans (or a Brit, in this case) moving to different parts of the world. Mohammadi has a beautiful way of describing her environment and although this made the book feel slow at times (these descriptions sometimes went on for pages), it was also relaxing reading about her Italian environs. I liked the set-up of the book where each chapter followed
Apr 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc
This is a personal challenge to read books with an Italian connection. I really enjoyed Bella Figura with its descriptions of the Italian life. This book is taking you on a vacation and you'll know that La vita è bella in Italy.
Kelly Magro
Dec 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
That's it. I'm moving to Italy.
Olivia (Stories For Coffee)
Aug 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoirs

What a gorgeous and honest read about a woman changing her life for the better thanks to friendships, a positive atmosphere, new love, and a strong-willed attitude.
Apr 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
At first it feels like this is a book you've read before: a stressed out woman suddenly finds herself jobless and alone with no life to speak of and an opportunity to live somewhere fabulous to get over it.
And it does fit that very used format in a general sense, but Mohammadi holds nothing back and is a genius at describing things so you can actually feel/taste/smell them. She stands out from similar titles by being unafraid to share the lows as well as the highs of her time in Florence.
Apr 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs
What a fantastic way to live vicariously through the author. This book takes place over the course of a year, as the author finds herself discovering all the beauty and passion of Florence while simultaneously discovering herself. I make no qualms about my own passion for Florence, so I do think that has influenced how I view this book, but I found this to be a lovely journal of a unique experience. Her growth through language, food and love are realistic in their depiction of ups and downs. I ...more
Mar 15, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars. While not quite as polished or breezy as Eat, Pray, Love, it's an enjoyable and heartfelt story very much in that vein, from the starting point - burnt out single woman looking for something more abroad - to the way she reconnects with food, herself, and ultimately finds love.

The only part I balked at was the urge to make lists and transform experience to guidance, presumably a holdover from the author's background in women's fashion magazines. To wit: she now drinks 4 teaspoons of
Christine Dickenson
May 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
There's a lot to love about this book. The author has a wonderful writing style that I was drawn to. Her beautiful descriptions of Florence, Tuscany, and the surrounding areas, instantly transported me back to this incredible place. Also, her descriptions of the Italians and their devotion to living la vita bella was, and is, extremely inspiring. I could relate to her romantic entanglements as well as her battles with trying to lose weight the way typical Brits and Americans do (and usually ...more
Bo Patkai
May 28, 2018 rated it liked it
I loved the first half of the book - a single woman moving to Italy, leaving her busy job in London behind, roaming the streets of Florence, getting to know locals, and realising that a diet on pasta, olive oil and fresh vegetables & fruits is the best you can have. My favourite thing about this book were the recipes shes included in each chapter, as she was learning to cook from her Italian friends. The second half was, however, a bit boring as she was getting into way too many details ...more
Aug 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorite-books
Bella Figura was a wonderful book! It gave me the right Italian vibes before going to Rome and Florence:-).

I fell in love with Florence five years ago and since that it was my biggest dream to go there. And this year the dream came true.
This book helped me to understand more the Italian culture and to learn how to live the Bella figura lifestyle.

The story actually really draw me in. I felt like I was visiting Florence with her, drinking cappucino and finding fresh tomatoes on a market. I
I thoroughly enjoyed this lovely memoir! Tuscany is one of my favorite places in the world (in my dreams, I would love to live there!) and also, my paternal grandmother's family is from Florence, so I was especially drawn to Kamin Mohammadi's tale of self-discovery in Bella Figura: How to Live, Love, and Eat the Italian Way. The writing is lush and descriptive, and I felt that I was walking with her in the marketplace finding the freshest tomatoes, grapes, olive oil, cheese, fresh bread, sitting ...more
Biblio Files (takingadayoff)
Apr 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Structured like the classic A Year in Provence, Bella Figura sees London-based Magazine editor Kamin Mohammadi give up her stressful job for a year of writing in Florence. She arrives just after the New Year, soaking wet from a rainstorm. In time, she gets to know her neighbors and learns to slow down and appreciate the good life. It's fun to follow her adventures in shopping for fresh ingredients and learning to prepare simple but delicious meals. Then there's her love life which gets off to a ...more
Sue Dix
Apr 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
ARC. First things first. I give this book a 5 out of 5 stars. This is an all embracing memoir of the authors year in Florence, Italy. Kamin Mohammadi writes with warmth and vivid descriptions of Florence, her neighbors, the food, her friends, her lovers, all with the narrative view of her very personal transformation. She is introduced to Bella Figura, an all encompassing way of life, that, quite literally, changes her life. There may be some slightly uncomfortable scenes, but they are all ...more
Sep 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: travel
An Outstanding selection. Another story of slowing down and enjoying life. Kamin Mohammadi is an excellent writer and she had me longing to live my own Bella Figura. Im ready to pack my bags and move to the mother country. I highly recommend this book. ...more
May 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: firsttoread-com
When London magazine editor Kamin Mohammadi found herself unhappy, stressed to the point of burnout, and desperately lonely, the best thing ever happened to her. She got fired. Losing her job at the magazine she helped to grow was depressing and humiliating, but it ultimately led her to an entirely new life. 

A writer friend offered her a place to stay in Florence, where Mohammadi could spend a year healing and writing and figuring out what she wanted to do next. She had always wanted to write
May 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Bella Figura by Kamin Mohammadi is for adults. It is a self-help, personal growth book, one that I couldn't put down until I finished reading it. I really enjoyed how beautifully the author has described everything around her from the settings, situations, to the people. I felt like I was there. It is neat how she shares the recipes she learns in the end of each chapter. In this novel, Kamin shares how her life and lifestyle changed while she was living in Florence.

In the beginning of the novel,
Marian Rakestraw
Jun 20, 2018 rated it liked it
Theres a certain set of fantasy books that has specific elements: a single woman, on the ragged top end of youth, finds that her work life, love life, and beauty have all become faded. She abandons all that she knows and runs away to become a writer in a beautiful foreign locale, where she is transformed by spiritual awakening, food, and love. I quite enjoy most of these books. Bella Figura has all the right elements, and I enjoyed large chunks of it, but it also has problems. Maybe all such ...more
Apr 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Thank you Penguin Random House for the advanced copy of this amazing read - all thoughts are my own.

What else can I say about this book than it is one of the most beautifully written pieces of work I have ever had the privilege to read. Kamin has the most unbelievable talent for writing in a way that you feel like you are in Florence with her - seeing everything, smelling the scents, tasting the food. Reading this book inspired the most insane sense of wanderlust in my heart - I am compelled to
Oh this was so beautiful. Beautiful! It'll give you the most painful wanderlust you've ever experienced, but it's totally worth it. Part memoir, part love story to Florence, part recipe book, this memoir is bursting with love, curiosity and intelligence, right from the very first page. Italy sprawls off of the page in the form of tantalizing descriptions of just how therapeutic disappearing from London could truly be. On more than one occasion, I found myself looking up flights to Italy to see ...more
J.M. Powers
Apr 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Bella Figura is a travel memoir written by a high-powered magazine editor, Kamin Mohammadi.
This British woman dives into the unknown and takes a year away from all she knows to follow a dream of writing a book. I wish she had received support instead of scorn from her mother, but admired the author for packing her bags anyway.

Kamin eventually learns that life in Florence, Italy isnt what she expected. The many twists in this story kept me turning the pages. The addition of Italian recipes
Gina Dalfonzo
May 08, 2018 rated it liked it
As in most books in which the author goes to live in Italy, the country is presented as a completely life-changing place. I can totally buy it, the way Mohammadi writes about it. Her descriptions are lush and beautiful and make me long to see the place for myself. In some ways the book fell short of expectations -- for one thing, nearly all her neighbors talked like tourist brochures, and for another, I learned rather more about her sex life than I was interested in knowing. Still, I enjoyed and ...more
May 28, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jessica Dylan Miele
Mar 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
What a great read for a gray time of year. It inspired me to make little changes for the better, including wearing lipstick more often, walking more, and welcoming olive oil back into my diet.
Constance Chevalier
Jul 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
I loved it until I reached November and grew tired of Kamin. I skimmed December, but really appreciated the Epilogue. Lots of Italian recipes and tips on eating whole foods.
Idalia Gonzalez
Jan 05, 2019 rated it liked it
Jun 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Im determined to live bella figura after reading this book. I loved the descriptive language. I feel like Ive been to Florence. ...more
Jul 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Such a lovely, pleasurable read. Makes me want to go spend a year in Florence myself, eat all the delicious and all-natural foods she describes, and live the bella figura way. ☺ ...more
Jul 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Kamin Mohammadi, a magazine editor from London, was worn down. The glamour of the life she thought she wanted had instead become toxic and lonely, and stress was ruining her physical and mental health. When a ticket to freedom appeared in the form of a redundancy package from her company and the offer to stay at a friends apartment in Florence, she takes a giant leap and doesnt look back. Bella Figura is a memoir of her transformative year building a new life in Florence.

Bella Figura is the
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“Christobel had warned me of Stendhal syndrome, the well-known condition affecting visitors to Florence who actually became ill from a surfeit of beauty, and on packing for Florence I had slipped in plenty of tissues.” 0 likes
“tumbling over balconies and walls, and, cutting through the green patch of the Piazza Demidoff, I passed a profusion of lilac bushes that had suddenly sprung up out of a corner, their sweet smell dispersing the usual stink of dog pee. The four-petalled flowers were so pretty I plucked a few and carried them home, clamped to my nose. As I left the green I saw a long stem of pale lavender giaggiolo straight as a sword, surrounded by blade-like leaves. Spring was coming. I was sure la mamma was right, everything had its season.” 0 likes
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