Venice in Lock-down over Coronavirus Threat

Venice, affectionately nicknamed ‘La Serenissima’ (the most serene), has announced emergency procedures following concerns around an outbreak of Coronavirus.

With the Italian city in the throes of their annual ‘carnevale’, new rules have been imposed which see the celebrations cut short by two days. With confirmed reports of a 3rd death from the virus within the region, the governor of Veneto, Luca Zaia has declared that festivities should be brought to a halt.

Two Venetian patients have tested positive for the virus and are currently in intensive care at the local hospital, resulting in increased precautions within the city.

The north of the country has felt the impact of a breakout, with more than 130 cases reported since last Friday.

As well as the early end to the carnival, Venice and the surrounding area will be subject to stringent restrictions to try to prevent the spread of the virus, with schools and public gatherings forced into a lockdown situation:

“”We have to adopt drastic measures,” Veneto President Zaia told reporters. “As of this evening there will be a ban on the Venice Carnival as well as on all events, sporting as well, until March 1 inclusive,” he said. “All private and public gatherings” must be avoided, Zaia said, adding that all schools will also be closed until the end of the month.

The ban is also thought to extend to a wider Italian circle, with Barcelona players reportedly set to undergo additional checks on arrival at Naples ahead of their Champions League tie on Tuesday.

Any players found to have an elevated temperature and showing any signs of illness will be transported immediately to hospital on arrival.

While the cause of the initial outbreak still remains a mystery, with ‘patient zero’ apparently having no connection to China or having had any contact with anyone from the region, everything necessary is being put in place to stop the disease spreading further.

Further restrictions have also been put in place in Milan, where there will be limited access to the annual Fashion Week.

Prosecco & Promises- A L Michael

Prosecco and Promises Blog Tour Week 1 (3)

I’m delighted to be part of the blog tour for A L Michael’s latest offering ‘Prosecco & Promises.

Meet Mia: an unforgettable heroine learning the meaning of life and love on a beautiful Italian island. Perfect for fans of Mhairi McFarlane, Lindsey Kelk and Lucy Vine

Mia’s dad has always been her idol. Now, she faces losing him and he is insisting that she leave England to visit her mother’s family on the Italian island of Ischia.

Arriving on the island, Mia is embraced by the warm, crazy relatives she hardly knows. Despite her doubts about the trip, it is in Italy that Mia discovers connections to a part of her life that’s been missing, and during the sun-soaked days and steamy nights Mia falls for handsome local Salvatore. But as the day of her departure draws nearer can she risk having her heart broken twice in one summer?


This is a deliciously delightful novel. The main character, Mia, has promised to fulfil her father’s dying wish by returning to the beautiful Italian island of Ischia, the place where her Italian mother grew up. Mia’s mother died in a car accident when she was young and when her father discovers that his cancer has returned, he asks her to reconnect with her Italian family.

On arrival in Ischia, Mia finds herself battling with her emotions and surrounded by family members she barely knows; some of whom are desperate to reconnect to her, while her grandmother can barely bring herself to look at her and refuses to speak.

Mia takes off into the hills and there she discovers a place that jolts memories from the past- an old shop selling antiques that she remembers from her childhood. When she steps inside, she encounters Salvatore for the first time.

As the story develops, we learn more about Mia and how her life experiences have moulded her character. She appears moody and aloof, angry and bitter, shaped by the grief of losing those closest to her and yet there is always a hint of a softness within, if only she would allow it to surface.

This is a novel about love, loss, family ties and rediscovering yourself and what you believe in.

Prosecco Wide


Book Spotlight

Title: Prosecco and Promises


Author Name: A. L. Michael


Previous Books: Cocktails and Dreams


Genre: Women’s Fiction, Romance


Release Date: 12th February 2018


Publisher: Canelo


Cover Image: 


If you love Prosecco and Promises, why not read more about Mia’s best friend Savvy in Cocktails and Dreams? Out now!

Links to Book:

Amazon (UK)

Kobo (UK)

Google Books (UK)

Apple Books (UK)

Author Bio: A.L. Michael is hurtling towards the end of her twenties a little too quickly. She is the author of 10 novels. Her most recent collection of books, The Martini Club Series, started with Cocktails and Dreams, to be followed by Prosecco and Promises, and Martinis and Memories. She likes to write about difficult women. Well, they say to write what you know. Andi works as a Content Writer, as well as a therapeutic facilitator. She has a bunch of degrees in stuff to do with writing, and wrote her MSc dissertation on the power of creative writing in eating disorder recovery. She truly believes stories can change your life.

Author Photo: author pic

Author Social Media Links

Twitter: @AlMichael_

Facebook: A.L. Michael

Website: A. L. Michael


Rome is where the heart is- Tilly Tennant


Kate is in need of a change of scenery. Unceremoniously dumped by her husband, she decides it’s time to broaden her horizons and do some travelling; something previously restricted during her marriage.

She’s always wanted to visit Rome and, in doing so, begins an adventure and something of a journey of self discovery, with the odd embarrassing disaster along the way!

Enter Italian policeman Alessandro- who rescues Kate one evening after she falls asleep on the Spanish Steps after consuming too much wine- and the stakes suddenly become higher. Will she succumb to Italy (and Alessandro’s) charms?

This is a delightful easy read with likeable characters. The author Tilly Tennant perfectly depicts the eternal city and weaves the storyline effortlessly, examining the relationships between Kate and her sisters and the central character’s own insecurities as she contemplates a new romance.

A perfect summer page-turner!

Tino and the Pomodori- Tonya Russo Hamilton


This is a delightful story of a young Italian boy who eagerly awaits the day when he can plant tomatoes with his nonno.

With beautifully drawn illustrations and a perfect smattering of Italian words and phrases, this is a charming book for young children.

The picturesque setting of the Italian countryside along with plentiful references to the traditions of family and culture certainly add to the charm of the story and are the perfect backdrop to the main focus of the tale, which explains the life cycle of the tomato plant.


Daughters of the Silk Road- Debbie Rix


‘Daughters of the Silk Road’ is a fascinating fictional journey through history; a story of generations linked by a precious family heirloom- a Ming vase. Believed to bring good fortune to its owners, what unfolds over the course of centuries reveals many trials and tribulations as the vase is passed on to descendants and travels the world.

Starting in the present day, the reader is introduced to the vase’s current owner Miranda who has inherited it, along with various other knick-knacks, from her great-aunt. Miranda isn’t especially keen on the object but keeps it out of respect for her relative’s wishes that she should continue the family tradition.

The story then switches to the origins of the vase as the reader is transported back to the 15th century where Italian merchant Niccolo dei Conti is travelling with his family back to Venice, who has been presented with the porcelain as a gift to pass onto the Doge. In fact, dei Conti decides to keep the vase on his return to Venice and charges his daughter with keeping it safe. From this point, the narrative centres around the vase and the lives of its various owners over the years, before returning to the present to discover whether or not it truly does bring fortune to those who possess it.

As a lover of Venice, the early section of the book centred on the dei Conti family was the most appealing. Vivid descriptions of the city and its customs, coupled with historical accuracy about the surrounding islands and the threat of the plague made for compelling reading.

The author has done a wonderful job of mixing fact with fiction, including many characters throughout who actually existed and blending in seamlessly to the narrative those she has invented to add further substance to the story.

Whilst the sections of the story set in the present don’t hold quite as much intrigue, they are an essential part of the overall plot in the end.

If you’re a fan of historical fiction, this will definitely appeal!

The Disappearance of Signora Giulia- Piero Chiara


The Disappearance of Signora Giulia, originally published by Italian author Piero Chiara under the title ‘I Giovedi della Signora Giulia’ in 1970 is the first of his works to be translated into English.

As is to be expected from the title, the novel surrounds the mysterious disappearance of the wife of lawyer Esengrini, who enlists the help of detective Sciancalepre in discovering her fate.

What unravels seems at first to be straighforward. Giulia, who each Thursday, travelled to visit her daughter at university whilst also frequently meeting a man with whom she was having an affair, appears to simply have decided to leave her husband in favour of her new love. However, as the plot develops, we discover that Giulia does in fact, seem to have vanished without trace.

Over a period of three years, the mystery deepens and when a strange figure appears within the grounds of the family home during the night, it becomes apparent that Giulia’s disappearance is actually more sinister than it first appeared.

This is a novella and the narrative is simple, yet fast-paced, which holds the reader’s interest. The twist in the plot towards the end is compelling but ultimately frustrating as, without revealing any spoilers, it ends with more questions than answers!

An intriguing read overall!