Italia! I fell in love with Italy when I travelled there in my twenties (a long time ago!). I had just graduated from college and treated myself to one of those see-20-countries-in-7-days kinds of trips. Our tour spent one day in Rome and a total of four days in Italy. The food. The wine. The men! Everything spoke to me about romance and sensuality and being present in the moment. And Venice! I was mesmerized watching the sun set over the Grand Canal. Even feeding the pigeons there was romantic! Glass-blowing demonstrations were magical. Then there was Florence and actually seeing The David in person. And shoe shopping in Rome - does it get better than that? It was visiting The Vatican that affected me the most deeply. Entering, the sense of history and holiness was overwhelming. It was as if instead of entering an ancient building I had stepped into divinity itself. The silence soothed and prayers sang in the air and awaited their answers. I sat and closed my eyes and felt myself surrounded by possibility. By miracles waiting to happen. I was so entranced by Italy that I set my debut novel, Finding Felicity, there. The story follows Madeline O'Connor, a successful New York businesswoman, to Italy to be with her ill sister. There, she stays at an ancient Benedictine monastery and falls in love with a monk. Her time in Italy changes her life. As I write, my sister is in Europe. It is her first trip and Italy is on the agenda! I am jealous. One day, I will go back to my Italia to sip. To dream. Maybe, even, to fall in love again.