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

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  545 ratings  ·  109 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 of
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published May 8th 2018 by Knopf Publishing Group
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3.78  · 
Rating details
 ·  545 ratings  ·  109 reviews

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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.
Kate Vocke
Apr 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 com
Apr 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-to-read
Really enjoyed this book about leaving it all behind and finding a better life after being terribly heartbroken. There were some moments in the book, that I did not care for. (A rough sexual encounter) Strengths of the book are Kamin's honesty, Italian food(I swear I'll never purchase cheap olive oil again), and her writing is simply outstanding. It's a interesting fun book that will cause you to long for Italy and a slower more appreciative lifestyle.
Apr 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Liv (Stories For Coffee)

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 19, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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 d ...more
Bo Patkai
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 she’s 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 abo ...more
Christine Dickenson
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 fail ...more
Aug 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 abso
May 28, 2018 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
Apr 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
The c
Sue Dix
Apr 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
ARC. First things first. I give this book a 5 out of 5 stars. This is an all embracing memoir of the author’s 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 nece ...more
Mar 15, 2018 rated it liked it
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 o
Biblio Files (takingadayoff)
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
May 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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,
May 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ab
Sep 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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. I’m ready to pack my bags and move to the mother country. I highly recommend this book.
Constance Chevalier
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.
Jun 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’m determined to live bella figura after reading this book. I loved the descriptive language. I feel like I’ve been to Florence.
Gina Dalfonzo
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
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
Marian Rakestraw
There’s 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 bo ...more
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 i ...more
Apr 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
J.M. Powers
Apr 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 isn’t what she expected. The many twists in this story kept me turning the pages. The addition of Italian recipes sprin
Aug 01, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I picked up this book because I'm going to Florence in a couple of weeks and I wanted to be inspired about the city. I loved Eat, Pray, Love and remember feeling so inspired to travel after reading it. Theuple of chapters of Bella Figura I was able to take down a few notes about places to go and I loved Kamin's enthusiasm for Italian culture and what it was doing for her health, both mental and physical.

Like many others, she lost me with her romance focus. It reminded me more of a girly diary w
Jul 11, 2018 rated it it was ok
I have been waffling quite a bit on both my star rating and my review for this memoir of a woman who loses her job and moves to Italy to write a book. Mohammadi is, without doubt, a wonderful writer. The layout of the book was perfect, with each chapter following a month of her time in Italy and ending with recipes. I also quite enjoyed her descriptions of her surroundings, including the people, the architecture, and the customs. It did drag a bit at times but the writing was always excellent. I ...more
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