Patty Civalleri, Author
Archaeology, Art | Art History, BLOG, Italy, Writing

The Secret to Writing

RESOLUTION: I WILL WRITE AND PUBLISH 2 BOOKS THIS YEAR – but HOW?

People often ask me how I manage to get any writing done with this crazy lifestyle of mine. It’s easy. I just sit down and write. I don’t think about it, I don’t put pressure on it. I just sit down and write. 

Many folks have told me they would LOVE to write a book, but they don’t know how to get started, or how to fit it in. But I guess I see it backward: I am constantly trying to figure out how to fit my crazy life into my writing time. Odd, I know.

I wasn’t born a writer, or perhaps I was. My 92-year-old Dad was a writer and still is. My 28-year-old son is a writing fiend. So I suppose that writing was supposed to come naturally to me as well. 

I was born with nothing

But I am one of those people that nothing came naturally to, so I overcompensated by over-learning everything until each thing became natural. Like playing classical piano, or singing, or cooking, or sailing, or photography, or graphic design, or computer technology, or science, or photoshop, or biology, or archaeology, or history, or or or…

Crazy is what crazy does

I have incorporated most all of these things (and many more) into my normal life’s flow. For example, I have served on the Director’s Council of the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology at UCLA for 17 years, I have built over 250 websites for just as many clients, I have taught Photoshop, I have photographed the darkest corners of our ancient world for nearly two decades, and I am the Commodore of a boating club. Periodically, I perform random acts of Public Relations for myself and others. I have a family, a dog, and three elderly senior loved ones that need consistent love and attention. I published a book last year that needs daily marketing or it dies. I love to travel, so I do. I was away from my home a total of five months during 2017. So yeah, I have a bit of a crazy lifestyle.

Fall in Love

With all of this going on, what keeps me motivated to write? That’s easy. I love the subject. Last year, I published a book about a city that I had unexpectedly fallen in love with: Florence, Italy. This year, I fell in love with the city of Venice. Trips to Italy and research for these books has made me fall in love with Renaissance Art History. These topics and images roll around in my head 24 hours a day. I dream about them, I hear their whispers, I see their images reflected in my morning coffee, I simply can’t stop thinking about them. Clearly, I am in love. And when you are in love, nothing can stand in your way.

This must be the secret to writing: let yourself fall hopelessly and madly in love with your topic, and it will write itself. The words will flow with consistent grace from your keyboard; the ideas will flourish in your mind’s eye and it will all happen with an ease and a style that will invoke envy in all who peer into your office. Well, maybe that, plus some serious research and some much-needed elbow grease!

Just fall in love.
Happy writing, Patty

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Archaeology, BLOG, History, Italy, Travel

Haunting Images That Will Put Pompeii On Your Bucket List

One of the intrinsic benefits of luxury travel is getting to wander off the main tourist path and visit places that can are stimulating from an intellectual point of view. The ancient city of Pompeii on Italy’s west coast is just such a place. It experienced a catastrophic ending, and within 1 day, it was completely buried for the next 2,000 years. Today, it can be visited on foot thanks to over a century of archaeological excavations. After reading her story, I encourage you to add Pompeii to your bucket list.

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BLOG, Italy, Travel

What is the 1 WORD That Seduces Travelers into Repeatedly Returning to Florence?

By Patty Civalleri

There are many reasons why people find their way to Florence, some of which may be by accident. The simple facts that Florence is “on the route” between Rome and Venice, or it is “included in the Italy package” are some of the more common ways that people get to Florence.

Most time-constrained tourists tend to breeze through as many destinations that can be compressed into their limited holiday period. This often means that they are forced to zip into a city, find the best place for food and drink, look at a few buildings on the streets, then check it off their bucket list. “Yup, I’ve been there, and done that,” they say. But have they really?

The opportunity to stay longer in any single destination is truly a luxury that many travelers do not possess. But if you travel because you want to learn more about the world (besides just its restaurants), and you want to come away feeling smarter and more enlightened, then Florence is your destination.

But why is it that so many people find that Florence has become their ‘favorite city in the world?’ And why is it that so many travelers repeatedly return to Florence even as the rest of the world continues to beckon?

As difficult as it may seem, it is this one single scary word that holds the draw for so many people: no matter how you look at it, Florence simply has some of the coolest and most seductive HISTORY” in the world.

Sure, every country has cool history. But Florence holds the key that connects so many of those little dots in our heads that were left by our school teachers so many years ago.

Let me show you. I’ll start simple, then get more fun as we go. Did you know:

  • that Florence is the Capital of Tuscany? Surprisingly, few people are aware of this.
  • that a bunch of familiar guys came from Florence?
    • Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Donatello, Galileo, Raphael, Dante, Machiavelli, the infamous Medici family, and scores more
  • that most of these guys actually knew each other?
  • that the combined genius of these men (along with many more great guys), turned history on its ear and yanked the Western World out of the Dark Ages?
  • that this ‘yanking’ from the Dark Ages into an enlightened age of ‘free thinking’ is what we all know of as The Renaissance?
  • that the “Pirate Pope” was from Florence?
  • that the original “Bonfire of the Vanities” occurred in Florence?
  • that Michelangelo hid underneath a chapel – for 3 months – to avoid imprisonment? And that while in there, he drew all over the walls to stay sane? And that you can visit this tiny little self-imposed prison/chamber?
  • that the Bargello Museum used to be a prison where they would among other things hang prisoners by their feet from the crenellations over the streets to warn people not to commit crimes?
  • that the Ponte Vecchio Bridge is the only bridge that remains intact after the Nazis bombed all other bridges in Florence?
  • that Leonardo da Vinci would visit his ‘secret woman’ each time he returned to Florence?
  • that the famous artists Filippo Lippi was kidnapped from the area and sold into slavery?
  • that Raphael is the King of ‘selfies’?

Florence is truly the veritable who’s who of familiar names and events in Western History. In fact, her history reads  like a Hollywood Magazine of the ins, outs and drama that has impacted our life in the West for the next 600 years.

This is why so many are compelled to return every few years. The city beckons and seduces with factoids and stories that will send you home as the smartest person in the room!

A stay in Florence can keep you busy every hour of every day that you spend there. Oh, and the restaurants and bars are pretty nice too!

Patty Civalleri, Author
“FLORENCE Gems & Giants”

 

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BLOG, Italy, Travel

How Much Time Should You Spend in Florence?

I know that people have time limits when traveling, and they want to see more than one single place. But Florence is quite different than most other places because of what I will tell you in 4 short paragraphs.

If I had a limited vacation and was flying across the world, I would spend no less than 3–4 days, bare minimum. You see, 4 years ago, I spent 2.5 months in Florence, and since then I have learned about more places that I wish I could have seen. The longer you stay, the deeper you can go. But of course, this is true of every place to which you will travel. Or is it?

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BLOG, Italy, Travel

What are some lesser-known sights to see when visiting Florence, Italy?

 Note: I wrote this to answer the question in the Quora.com website.

The answer to this question depends upon your personal interests, so I’ll throw out a few of my own favs.

A fantastic place from which to see the sunset over the city: Piazzale Michelangelo. You can either walk up to it, or take a local bus, but bring a picnic and enjoy the end of the day. One of the 2 full-sized copies of Michelangelo’s “David” stands overlooking the sunset as well.

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Patty Civalleri, Author
BLOG, Writing

Patty Civalleri Interview with Fiverr

Historian, photographer and new author Patty Civalleri launches a new kind of Travel Guide, “FLORENCE: A Traveler’s Guide to its Gems & Giants.” Designed to take you a step deeper into your trip to Florence, Italy, Civalleri has created it as a set of four products: a Paperback Book, an EBOOK, a FunBook, and an APP. No city and no author in the world offers these kinds of travel tools. FIVERR.com wants to know more.

Q1. Why are you interested in Deep Travel?

A1. As a writer and photographer, I have traveled for 17 years to ancient archaeological dig sites with some of the foremost archaeologists in the world. In every city, I have

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Archaeology, BLOG, Egypt, History

Egyptian Archaeologists Dig Up Mounds of Ancient Treasures

October 6, 2016
For Immediate Release
by Patty Civalleri


Archaic Roman Winery, Baths, a New Prayer Temple, and the King Tut Debate

Santa Ana, Ca – Egyptian Archeologists Dr. Mostafa Waziri and Salah Elmasekh will visit Southern California this month to reveal the latest important archaeological discoveries in a public forum to be held at the Bowers Museum on October 23rd. Included in the topics will be the recently-unearthed ancient Roman winery and baths, a new prayer temple, the Avenue of Sphinxes, and current news about the search for Queen Nefertiti behind King Tut’s tomb.

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BLOG, Travel

6 Steps of Time Traveling

People love to travel. There is something inherent in our wiring that titillates our curiosity about that grass which grows on that other side of the fence. Does its lushness make us dream of living over there? Are there more flowers among those blades than there are on our side of the fence? Does it get more -or less- sunshine? Can it justify my decision to continue to live where I do?

For over 15 years, I have had the pleasure of traveling around the globe with some of the best scientific and historical minds in the world. Together, we have visited the tiny nooks and crannies left vacant long ago by people of our ancient past. And with them, I have traveled not just globally, but through time.

Yup, time travel.

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Archaeology, BLOG, History, Peru, Travel

Peru: The Lost MOCHE Civilization – pt 1

When you get the call, it is difficult to say ‘no’.

“Hey Patty, are you available to disappear for a couple of weeks into Peru?”

“Sure,” I replied. “But we’ve been there already, so why are we going again?”

“We know you’ve already experienced the touristy side of Peru when you went to the Alta Plano, Cuzco, Lima and Macchu Pichu. This time we’re going to Peru’s northern coastal region. We’re going to explore some incredible sites that were once occupied by the ancient and enigmatic lost Moche civilization.”

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BLOG, Travel

Oh the Places I’ve Seen

I am a lucky girl!

My life has presented me with many opportunities to travel, and I have taken full advantage of those opportunities. An unexpected souvenir that traveling gives you (whether you like it or not) is the gift of big-picture (cinematic, even) perspective. The ability to contrast, analyze, balance, measure, juxtapose, observe and ponder. And if our nature allows us not to be judgemental, we can glean a further depth of knowledge that can only be derived from objectivity.

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