Letter from the Publisher

La Vita Bella

Just hearing the word “Italy” evokes a special meaning for most people. For me, it means the best in food, fashion, design, wine, art, architecture and automobiles — and perhaps the richest culture in Europe. There is something admirable about the Italian lifestyle and the manner in which its people bubble with emotion, embrace friends and family, and celebrate life.

Our editors and contributors have been scouring Italy for the better part of a year to bring you the finest of this diverse country. We have included a beautiful map of the Boot illustrated for Artful Living by our newest contributor, Pepper Tharp. Also featured are travel essays by Rudy Maxa offering a sampling of top regional destinations. And don’t miss our take on the best of Italy from the North. Ivy Gracie deserves a big thank you for inspiring us to take on this new editorial direction, helping curate this content and encouraging us to produce this special-edition magazine within a magazine.

Welcome to our summer issue packed with masculine topics, ranging from mobsters and muskies to vintage wooden boats. Mark your calendar for the upcoming Woods and Water International Boat Show on Gull Lake on September 25–26. More than 150 floating treasures will be on display — the equivalent of the Super Bowl for the rarest collectible vintage wooden boats in the world.

Our feature, “The Lure of the Brule” by Alyssa Ford, is a fascinating profile of the history, traditions and subculture of the families that rule the upper Bois Brule River in Wisconsin. Last August, she and I spent a few days on and around the Brule. We paddled the river in canoes with seasoned guides and interviewed interesting residents.

One morning on the river, Alyssa was launched out of a tipsy canoe and became fully submerged in the icy waters. A few minutes later (and with everyone back in their boats), a summer squall developed out of nowhere, and we were pelted for hours by heavy rains and winds. It became cold and uncomfortable, and there was no way to escape. Alyssa plowed through the rest of the day on the river without a complaint and proved what I already knew: She will stop at nothing to get the story. Be sure to check out this interesting piece about life in the North.

The root of Italian pathology is a dedication to living life well and an appreciation for the finer things. Slow down your pace this summer, live like an Italian and indulge in la vita bella.


Frank Roffers
Publisher + Editor-In-Chief

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