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Dreaming Sophia

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About the author:
Melissa Muldoon is the "Studentessa Matta". In Italian, "matta" means "crazy" or "impassioned". She promotes the study of Italian language and culture through the dual-language blog She has a B.A. in fine arts, art history and European history from Knox College and a master's in art history from the University of Illinois. She has studied painting, language and art history in Florence.

Dreaming Sophia is a fanciful look at art history, but it is also a culmination of personal stories and insights resulting from Melissa's experiences traveling and living in Italy, as well as her involvement and familiarity with the Italian language, painting and art history. Join the Dreaming Sophia community for more adventures with Sophia, art and Italian culture at

As a student, Melissa lived in Florence with an Italian family. She studied art history and painting and took beginner Italian classes. When she returned home, she threw away her Italian dictionary, assuming she'd never need it again. But after launching a successful design career and starting a family, she realized something was missing in her life. That "thing" was the connection she had made with the country and with friends who live there. Living in Italy was really a life-changing event! Wanting to reconnect with Italy, she decided to start learning the language again from scratch. As if indeed possessed by an Italian muse, she bought a new Italian dictionary and began her journey to fluency-a path that has led her back to Italy many times and which has enriched her life in countless ways.
Now, many dictionaries and grammar books later, she dedicates her time to promoting Italian language studies, further travels in Italy, and sharing her stories and insights about Italy with others. When Melissa is not wandering about Italy, she lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is married and has three boys and two beagles named Sinbad and Moka.

Melissa designed and illustrated the cover art for Dreaming Sophia. She also designed the Dreaming Sophia website and created the character illustrations that can be found in the book and on the Dreaming Sophia websites.

Dreaming Sophia

Because Dreaming is an Art

Authored by Melissa Muldoon

Dreaming Sophia (2017 Second Edition) is a magical look into Italy, language, art, and culture. It is a story about turning dreams into reality and learning to walk the fine line between fact and fantasy. When tragedy strikes, Sophia finds herself alone in the world, without direction and fearful of loving again. With only her vivid imagination to guide her, she begins a journey that will take her from the vineyards in Sonoma, California to a grad school in Philadelphia and, eventually, to Italy: Florence, Lucca, Rome, Verona, Venice, and Val d'Orcia. Through dreamlike encounters, Sophia meets Italian personalities-princes, poets, duchesses, artists, and film stars- who give her advice to help put her life back together. Following a path that takes her from grief to joy, she discovers the source of her creativity and learns to love again, turning her dreams into reality.

Publication Date:
0997634804 / 9780997634808
Page Count:
Binding Type:
US Trade Paper
Trim Size:
6" x 9"
Black and White
Related Categories:
Fiction / General

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