Deliciously Funny and Inspiring: Read Our Review of Kate Langbroek’s Ciao Bella!

Deliciously Funny and Inspiring: Read Our Review of Kate Langbroek’s Ciao Bella!

‘I wasn’t looking to fall in love. It just happened. There were moments, encounters as fleeting as feelings. Sometimes – tellingly – they emerged from chaos.’

When Kate Langbroek first dreamed of moving to Italy, she imagined a magnificent sun-drenched pastiche of long lunches and wandering through cobbled laneways clutching a loaf of crusty bread and a bottle of wine, Sophia Loren-style, while handsome men called out ‘Ciao Bella!’

In the stark light of day, the dream Langbroek shared with her husband Peter after an idyllic holiday in Italy seemed like madness. They didn’t speak Italian. They knew no one in Italy. They had four children. Langbroek also had the best job in the world on a top-rating radio show with her longtime friend, Dave Hughes.

But the siren song of Italy was irresistible. This would be the adventure of a lifetime, a precious opportunity to spend more time with their children – Lewis, Sunday, Artie and Jannie – and it came from a deep well inside to seize life after they almost lost Lewis to leukaemia.

Ciao Bella! is about having a dream and living it as Langbroek shares the sublime joys and utter chaos of adapting to a new life in Bologna, what you discover about yourself when you are a stranger in a strange land, and how she fell in love… with a country.

I’ll admit upfront that I vaguely knew of Kate Langbroek, but vaguely is the key word here. I lived overseas for many years when she first came to prominence as a media personality, and I don’t listen to the radio, which is where she now reigns supreme. So, I went into her memoir without any preconceptions about her, or what this story is about. I’ve emerged from the other end of this utterly delightful read as a huge fan. She is sensational.

Langbroek and her husband – who sounds like a man we need to clone – packed up their kids and took them to live in Bologna. It was to be a one-year sabbatical from their busy lives. A year into it, they decided to extend, and in doing so were in Italy as the tsunami of COVID-19 engulfed the country and put them into harsh lockdown. But the pandemic plays a small role in this read, making its first appearance well into the book. The real star is Italy itself, and Langbroek’s love affair with it.

Deliciously funny, irreverent, inspiring and often deeply moving, Ciao Bella! is her love letter to Italy and her family. It is also a glorious reminder of what Italians can teach us about living life to the full – and what really matters when the world goes to hell in a handbasket.

It’s a delicious, wise and honest read. Langbroek’s intelligence and wit imbue every page. As an avid traveller – one who has travelled extensively with children – I’ve read every family travel memoir around. This is by far the best. It transported me into the streets of Italy and the home of this unique and fabulous family. Ciao Bella! is one of my favourite reads of 2021.

Buy a copy of Ciao Bella! here.

Reviews

Chasing Her Dreams: Read an Extract from Kate Langbroek’s Ciao Bella!

Review | Extract

23 November 2021

Chasing Her Dreams: Read an Extract from Kate Langbroek’s Ciao Bella!

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      Publisher details

      Ciao Bella!
      Author
      Kate Langbroek
      Publisher
      Simon and Schuster
      Genre
      Non Fiction
      Released
      04 November, 2021
      ISBN
      9781760857547

      Synopsis

      When Kate Langbroek first dreamed of moving to Italy, she imagined a magnificent sun-drenched pastiche of long lunches and wandering through cobbled laneways clutching a loaf of crusty bread and a bottle of wine, Sophia Loren-style, while handsome men called out ‘Ciao Bella!’

      In the stark light of day the dream Kate shared with her husband Peter after an idyllic holiday in Italy seemed like madness. They didn’t speak Italian. They knew no one in Italy. They had four children. Kate also had the best job in the world on a top-rating radio show with her longtime friend, Dave Hughes.

      But the siren song of Italy was irresistible. This would be the adventure of a lifetime, a precious opportunity to spend more time with their children – Lewis, Sunday, Artie and Jannie – and it came from a deep well inside to seize life after they almost lost Lewis to leukaemia.

      Ciao Bella! is about having a dream and living it as Kate shares the sublime joys and utter chaos of adapting to a new life in Bologna, what you discover about yourself when you are a stranger in a strange land, and how she fell in love.

      With a country.

      Deliciously funny, irreverent, inspiring and often deeply moving, Ciao Bella! is Kate’s love letter to Italy and her family. It is also a glorious reminder of what Italians can teach us about living life to the full – and what really matters when the world goes to hell in a handbasket.

      Kate Langbroek
      About the author

      Kate Langbroek

      Kate Langbroek is one of Australia’s most beloved media personalities. Her ferocious wit, playfulness and irreverence have made her an audience favourite in a career that has spanned prime time television, top-rating breakfast and drivetime radio, acting, scriptwriting and journalism. Kate first came to our attention on Triple R in the mid-1990s and then as a regular on The Panel, one of Network Ten’s longest-running shows. She went on to guest on other popular shows like Thank God You're Here and Dancing with the Stars. In 2001 Kate helped catapult start-up radio station Nova 100 to instant ratings success. Along with co-host Dave ‘Hughesy’ Hughes, Kate continued her stellar radio career on SCA’s Hit! Network and is  now on the ARN Network. She broadcasts nationally every weekday on KIIS FM’s 3pm Pick-Up and is a regular guest on Channel 10’s The Project. While juggling a frenetic career, marriage and parenthood, Kate and her husband Peter decided to make life even more interesting by packing up their four kids and moving to Bologna in Italy. The result is Kate’s first book, Ciao Bella! Six Take Italy.

      Books by Kate Langbroek

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