In 2008, Kamin Mohammadi found herself worn down – by the increasingly unrealistic expectations of her high-flying job in the magazine industry, by her fluctuating weight and health issues, and by her non-existent love life.
Made redundant from her job, she fled the bleak streets of London for a friend’s sun-dappled apartment in Florence. There, among the cobbled streets, the bustling, vibrant markets and the majestic palazzos, Kamin found a new lease of life. Leaving behind her ascetic diets and compulsive exercising, she began to imitate the ways of the carefree Italian women she saw around her – the morning café rituals, the long lunches – taking pleasure in the finer things. Within weeks she had regained her health, her natural figure and her zest for life – and even a lover or two.
At once lyrical and practical, Bella Figura shows us how to make every aspect of life as beautiful as it can be. From how to choose the perfectly ripe tomato to how to walk down the street in style, Kamin Mohammadi explores the intricate nuances of Italian culture, and sets down a simple guide to a better, more elegant – and ultimately more satisfying – life.
“In this charming hybrid of self-help and memoir… Mohammadi captures myriad aspects of the charming Italian lifestyle, and her story’s happy ending is a testament to its benefits.” - Publishers Weekly
“This book is my ideal type of armchair travel: immersive, insightful, seductive. In Bella Figura, Kamin Mohammadi takes us to the year in Florence that changed her life, and gives us the tools to bring the grace of the Italian lifestyle to our own lives. It’s a reminder to slow down, look around, taste, listen, and to open ourselves new possibilities.” - Stephanie Danler, author of Sweetbitter
“A charming, delightful memoir of self-transformation. . . . Interspersed throughout with delicious recipes and bella figura–inspired lifestyle tips, the book is a down-to-earth modern-day fairy tale for the world-weary that celebrates personal transformation and all things delectably Italian.” - Kirkus Reviews
“Kamin Mohammadi’s writing is so evocative one can smell the flowers, taste the flesh of the sweet peaches, hear the chatter of her neighbours and the sound of people meandering through the cobbled streets of Florence… We do not have a translation for the Italian words, Bella Figura, but it is like Hygge in Danish and it is certainly something that we should try to create, here in the UK. Read this book and live the lifestyle in your mind and wonder…” - The Country Wives magazine
“Moving to Italy changed her perspective on life. “Bella Figura: How to Live, Love, And Eat The Italian Way” (Knopf) chronicles her first year in Florence. For Ms. Mohammadi, bella figura—which translates loosely as “good impression”—is “about bringing out the beauty of everything...[It] encompasses joy, it encompasses being kind, it encompasses politeness. You’ll choose to say things with a smile; you’ll choose more pleasant words.” This ethos applies to food, too. “It doesn’t need to be fancy,” she writes. “It’s a sort of honoring everything, including the ritual of eating—honoring that radish, that tomato, the person who grew it, the sunshine that filled it with taste.” - Charlotte Druckman, Wall Street Journal
“Bella Figura, details an ensuing love affair with the city. She paints a romantic picture of lively conversation, serendipitous encounters and simple, home-cooked food so delightful that it feeds the soul.” - The Telegraph
“Bella Figura is witty, intelligent and heartfelt in equal measure and will delight anyone dreaming of a summer holiday – or a brand new life – in Italy.” - The Guardian, Best Summer Books of 2018