Back From Food of the Italian Islands Book Tour!

Written by Katie Parla on March 30, 2023

Katie Parla Holds Food of the Italian Islands at Sorelle in Charleston, SC

Food of the Italian Islands, my seventh cookbook and first independently published title, is three weeks old. I had big plans of writing this post when it dropped March 7, but by then I was already deep into a nationwide US book tour, running on fumes, and too exhausted to write anything more than an IG caption. In the end, we all win from this delayed post because if I had written it then, we wouldn’t have the adorable pic below of my mom Joj showing off 300 signed books at Razza in Jersey City last week.

I’m back in Roma now looking back on the process of researching (fun!), writing (hard!), editing (really exceptionally hard), printing (shockingly smooth), shipping (at times messy), and promoting (the most fun) the book and I have learned so much. I know way more about logistics and US Customs policies than I ever wanted to know. I have a greater understanding of printing and binding. But mostly the process has reinforced how special it is to be able to share Italy together, whether in person at book events or through the book itself. The support has been overwhelming and it means so much that so many of you purchased the book and attended dinners, cocktail parties, and signings to celebrate the Italian islands together.

I definitely have more to share about the process of producing the book in Italy and will do so in future posts. But first I need a nap, so I’ll leave you with a few updates on the book front. After giving independent bookshops a head start, the book is now available on Amazon in the US. I was reluctant to sell through Amazon at first (extortionate fees, narrow margins, etc) but I think it’s the right move for sharing the book with a wider audience. I really want people to be inspired to visit the islands so the more readers there are out there, the better it is for all the amazing people making awesome food in Sicily, Sardegna, and beyond. Distribution in Canada and Mexico is really freaking hard so I have been working to launch listings in the Amazon stores there, with some hiccups so far. I am working on it! EU customers can purchase directly from my site.

Katie Parla Food of the Italian Islands Amazon Listing

There are still signed books available on my site (and matching glassware, too!) and in the following venues: Labyrinth Books (Princeton), Bold Fork Books (DC), Kitchen Arts & Letters (NYC), Fiorella (Rochester), Cellar Door Provisions (Chicago), Libreria Pino (SF), Omnivore (SF), Sorelle (Charleston), Now Serving (LA), Book Larder (Seattle), and Otherwise (Roma).

More book tour dates are coming. I’ll be in Philly for a hot second in April for the Philly Chef Conference and will be doing a signing April 18 at Drexel. Book tickets here. In November, I’ll do a very intense week-long tour covering Austin, Atlanta, New Orleans, Richmond, and Miami. Working on Boston, Lancaster, Detroit, and Pittsburgh dates, too. I’m basically going to tour this book for one thousand years so if your city’s not on the list right now, it may very well be in the future. Stay up to date by visiting my events page and subscribing to my newsletter.

Joj with signed copies of Food of the Italian Islands at Razza in Jersey City NJ | Katie Parla

Finally, I am so grateful to the many publications that have covered the book and given it positive reviews. Here’s a round up:

“Ms. Parla, who lives in Italy and has Sicilian roots, covers not just food but culture, history and geography, and there are enough sunny photos to make you consider booking a flight and checking ferry schedules.”

New York Times

“Food of the Italian Islands is a colorful, fun, staggeringly informative journey through a region of Italy that doesn’t get enough love in cookbooks…Parla is uniquely capable of showing us a new side of Italian food that goes way beyond the classics, which is why this book is an absolute must-have…”

VICE 

“Leafing through its pages, which are packed with enough gorgeous photos to have you googling flights before you’ve even made it halfway through, you’ll be transported variously to the volcanic outcrop of Pantelleria, with its dusty caper fields; immersed in the decorative, sculptural bread-baking traditions of Sardinia; or discovering the unique agricultural conditions of the Venetian island of Sant’Erasmo…”

VOGUE

“The book’s vibrant colors make you want to jump in its pages and sample all the treats: live sea urchin, grilled meats, legendary su filindeu, lesser known pestos, cheesy carbs, and cozy minestra.”

Delish

“one of the biggest cookbook launches of the year.”

Food Republic 

“Food of the Italian Islands is a true love letter to Italy, and not just because it highlights the cuisine and traditions of some of the country’s most diverse and special regions.”

InsideHook

“… it’s impossible to miss the passion behind Parla’s photography and storytelling in this self-published (!) ode to the vibrant Italian islands.”

Food & Wine

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