Family secrets, a terrorist plot, and a new romance!
Reluctantly joining her dysfunctional family on a Mediterranean cruise, Olivia is drawn to a mysterious man and finds herself propelled into a life-changing adventure. Her widowed sister, Ashley, convinces her to join her and their dying mother on a vacation to mend their relationships, flush out old secrets, and even forgive past transgressions.
But Olivia used the cruise to pursue a secret of her own. After discovering at the age of 12 she was the love child of an affair, she seeks her birth father, an Italian businessman, and meets him in several ports during the cruise in spite of what it might do to her precarious family. Olivia faces a dangerous on-board romance, family secrets, and decisions that could change her and her family forever. From Rome to Venice and ports in between, Olivia unearths secrets and struggles to make sense of them. Will Olivia’s dreams come true? One family’s future may hinge on Olivia and the man at the Rialto Bridge.
“Once again, Janet Simcic has given us fascinating characters in dramatic situations, surrounded by alluring locations. Olivia, a woman in search of answers, takes to the Italian seas aboard a cruise designed to bring her family together for reflection and resolution. Instead, she’s daunted at each port with a more personal and dangerous adventure each time, drawn into an affair that could change everything. Her quest for love, acceptance, and reconciliation brings out unforeseen strengths, and new vulnerabilities. Sexy, dramatic, and filled with surprises, we can’t help but feel the allure of The Man at the Rialto Bridge.
-Herb Williams-Dalgart, award-winning author of The French Girl’s War
For a coffee experience extraordinaire, a visit to Caffe’ Greco, the oldest coffee bar in Rome is a an experience not to be missed. Founded in 1760, it was the favorite hangout for many famous British writers who wanted a place to sit and think. Now it is a bustling caffe’ filled with locals, tourists, and those who just want the experience.
Located on the famous Via Condotti, known for it’s designer boutiques, it’s a great place to take a break and enjoy a fantastic cappuccino and a dolce (sweet). Sitting down and enjoying a treat in a caffe’ or coffee bar will always cost you more. I prefer to relax and never give up an opportunity to people watch. Peruse the dessert bar as you enter. I recommend trying Italian style cheesecake. It’s light and fluffy and doesn’t leave you feeling stuffed like the big wedges of New York cheesecake.
The Tiramisu if one of the best I’ve enjoyed in Rome. A coffee drink and dessert will set you back about $20. But it’s worth the splurge. And you can say you savored a drink with the rich and famous.
Ladies, don’t forget to check out the doormen and guards at the glitzy boutiques. They’re worth the glance.
When you’ve finished you’re experience, head up just a few steps to the famous Spanish Steps.
And remember, act like a Roman at Caffe’ Greco. Don’t be shy about demanding service. And, should your coffee arrive cold, as it can on a busy day, demand another one and stress you want’ it fresh.
It never happens if you’re standing, but at times, it will if you are sitting. By the way, when you enter the website, enjoy the music and be sure to enter via the British flag. Otherwise, you won’t understand anything. I always prefer to sit in the Roma Salon.
No visit to Rome is complete until you visit the Piazza Navonna. And while you stroll, circle on back to the AI TRE TARTUFI.
Located to the side of the church and in front of the Three Rivers sculpture by Bernini, you will enjoy a gelato with entertainment. Try for a front-row seat and enjoy a “better than Broadway” show, with artists, musicians, and people from every part of the world. On a warm afternoon, there is no better place to relax, wind down, and rest your weary feet.
The staff is friendly and most of them speak English. I prefer to try my Italian with them, and they always appreciate my accented Italiano! This gelato is made by them! And they offer only 24 flavors, preferring to stick to traditional favorites.
For me, I love the straciatella (which is basically chocolate chip but unlike ANYTHING you’ve experienced here). For the berry flavors, strawberry is so smooth and flavorful, it’s almost like eating fresh strawberries. But for a cool and tart refreshment, the limone (lemon) is out of this world. If it’s late afternoon, they will often offer a “deal” on the gelato if you stay for dinner. It’s well worth it.
photo: Flickr via creative commons license