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A Penchant for Travel

Aragon Castle, Taranto, Italy
Everything, Everywhere, Travel Writer Guest Series Marcella Nardi

Italian Author, Marcella Nardi’s Quest for History and Mystery

Italian writer and traveler, Marcella Nardi, was born in Northern Italy. She currently lives in Seattle, WA. All photos in this Travel Guest interview were submitted by Marcella Nardi.

Above all, Marcella Nardi has a fondness for travel and writing mystery and detective novels. Her novels combine history and mystery into believable and engaging tales.

Similarly, “A Penchant for Travel” is an opportunity for Marcella to highlight her accomplishments while giving essential travel tips every traveler should know before going to Italy.

Marcella was born in Castelfranco Veneto in Northern Italy but she moved to Seattle, WA in 2008 and since then, dedicates herself to teaching Italian, technical translations, and writing novels. Travel, ancient and medieval history, and photography, reading, and construction of historical models are a few of her interests. She also has a Master’s Degree in computer science.

As a lover of detective novels and the middle ages, Marcella won third prize in the 2011 contest “Philobiblon–Premio Letterario Italia Medievale” (Philobiblon–Medieval Italy, literary award). The winning story was one of the six stories that gave birth to her first book, an anthology, “Grata Aura & Altri Gialli Medievali.” The first edition is called “Medioevo in Giallo.”

Marcella Nardi: History, Mystery and Travel
Award-winning Italian author, Marcella Nardi, combines history, mystery and travel as the storyline in her books.

In Italian, “Giallo” means two things: the color yellow and thriller. Between the two World Wars, a large Italian publishing company started to sell thrillers in books dressed with a yellow background cover. Since then, Italians use the word Giallo for Thriller. She translated the anthology into English, under the title “DNA Code & Other mysterious tales from the Middle Ages” a year later. In December 2014, Marcella won first prize for a story set in Gradara in the contest, “Italia Mia” (“My Italy”), organized by the Italian “National Association of the Book, Science and Research.”

History, mystery and travel
Readers find tales from many of Italy’s most cherished landmarks and cities.

Marcella continues to write novels, and since 2013, she has written more than 15 novels. In fact, she has created a detective series of six novels in which the detective resembles Marcella, having almost the same name, looks, and personality.

Legal thriller fans should check out “Morte all’Ombra dello Space Needle” (“Death in the Shadow of the Space Needle”), the first novel in Marcella’s new legal thriller series set in Seattle, WA. Her historical mystery novel, “Joshua e la Confraternita dell’Arca,” has been translated into English as “Joshua and the Brotherhood of the Ark,” and a paranormal novel, an erotic romance, and several short stories.

Marcella Nardi Mystery and History books
You can find a full collection of books by Marcella Nardi on Amazon. See the link below.

Although I’ve never met Marcella, travel and Italian heritage and traditions are a common thread we share. We’ve both mingled our traditional Italian values and culture we’ve grown up with and interfaced them with our love for writing, art, and architecture.

Marcella Nardi and her mother
Although separated from her family in Italy, Marcella, left, looks forward to the day when she can visit her mother and homeland again.
Enjoy our Q & A interview.

What is your primary purpose for traveling? What percentage of your travel is business versus leisure?  

My primary purpose for traveling was/is to know this wonderful planet and to know different cultures.

The percentage? It depends on the time in my life. There was a time in which 40 percent of my traveling was for work and the rest for leisure. It was the first seven years of my job career. After that 90 percent was for pleasure. I was on all seven continents, even in the Antarctica Peninsula.

Travel to Antarctica
Marcella has traveled the world but in the coming months, as soon as travel restrictions are lifted, she’ll plot her course to destinations in Australia and Africa. Shown is an image from her Antarctica adventure.

What are the benefits of travel?

I think the benefits are not just relax from months of working, but mostly is that knowing other places and other cultures opens your mind. You learn there are good and bad things in your country as far as in other countries. So your way to judge changes.

How does travel ignite creativity?

Travel ignites a lot of my creativity. This is due to many reasons. You can get ideas for plots, as I am mostly a writer in the last 10 years. Looking at the behavior of other people and what happens there, can be a good idea for a new novel.

Antarctica Adventures
Learning more about world culture is a driving force for this Italian author.

What are a few experiences you’ve encountered while seeing the world that has had a profound impact on your life?

It’s a difficult question. I’ve traveled a lot. I could say that visiting the ancient Egyptian temples made me understand how for every civilization there is a rise and fall. If we don’t understand this important topic, and the reasons,  we are doomed to fail.

Marcella Nardi

How would you describe Italy to someone who has never visited your country’

Italy is considered, worldwide, the best or one of the best countries on the planet. I think that it is right, not because it is my home country but because of its history. All the invasions we had for more than 2000 years, made Italy a unique place. The architecture is different from the rest of Europe and the Romanesque and Gothic styles are different. Our cuisine and the people are different from the other European countries. We are a big mixture of people from the very north of Europe and from the Middle East and from Asia and Africa. So a trip to Italy is something that everybody should do in their own life. 

What to see in Sienna, Italy
Italy offers architecture, food, and history one won’t find in other European countries, according to Marcella.

Coming from Italy, one of the world’s most breathtaking, scenic, cultural, and romantic travel destinations, what are a few of the cities and experiences you believe travelers are missing if they adhere to only the most-visited tourist sites?

I think that the typical touristic destinations are nice, but there is so much more to visit. Umbria region, in my opinion, is one of the most beautiful areas in Italy. Apulia, too. It’s difficult to answer just in a few phrases to this question.

One of the treasured Gubbio landmarks Marcella photographed during her travels.

Why are the Umbria region and Apulia two of the most beautiful areas in Italy? What makes them so enticing to visit?

They are not the best but they are very interesting.

Umbria is similar to Tuscany, but is cheaper to go there and its history is great, too. Many old famous families from Tuscany invaded Umbria in the past. You see small villages on the top of mountains as in Tuscany. And the food is quite unique. They have their own cheese and meat that are fantastic.

Apulia was the greatest and the biggest ancient Spartan Greek colony, outside ancient Greece. Also, they have a particular kind of stone, for building, that makes the centuries, churches and the castles really different. Then, in many places, the dialects are like Greek. The Romanesque style in Apulia is very different from other places in Italy and Europe.

Aragon Castle, Taranto, Italy

When you visit Italy, what’s the first place you visit? What’s on your must-see list?

I go back to Italy every year. The first place I go to is Taranto, Apulia. My mother is still alive and she lives there. I spend two weeks with her and then I select an Italian area that I never saw, before. I reserve a hotel room in the middle of that area and with my rental car, I visit two places every day. I am discovering the beauty of my Country.  

What are your plans or dreams for the days ahead when we can travel again?

There are many other places I want to see on this beautiful planet. One is Australia and the Great Barrier Reef; then I would like to see Spain and Northern Africa. I already was in Egypt, but never in other places in Africa.

You can contact Marcella through her web site, www.marcellanardi.com and her Facebook timeline, https://www.facebook.com/marcella.nardi.5.

Marcella Nardi Italian author Joshua English translation The story of a man who became the Son of God.

My Books:

English (ebook & paperback):

English and Italian:

All my other books are in Italian. Follow the link below to find all of her books, including a new series, a legal thriller located in Seattle (“Morte all’Ombra dello Space Needle” and “L’architetto dei Labirinti”) and an audio book featuring Marcella as narrator. You can find her books on Amazon in a digital (eBook-Kindle) and paperback unless otherwise noted. Please note the books do not appear in chronological sequence

If you found A Penchant for Travel, an Interview with Marcella Nardi of value and you’re looking for more travel stories, read other selections in the digital guest travel series.

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