Photo: Kiernan Photography

Photo: Kiernan Photography

Raeleen D’Agostino Mautner, Ph.D.

None of us gets through life unscathed by loss. Over the course of our lifetime, we lose people we love and situations that give us security (relationships, jobs, homes, self-confidence, finances, etc).   In order to declare victory over loss we must ultimately reaffirm our commitment to LIVE. And not just tolerate living, but it is our mission to live fully, or live a dolce vita, a sweet life, so characteristic of what the traditions of Italy represent.  Life is the greatest gift we have, and we cannot let it slip by unappreciated. From the time I was a little girl, living with extended family in a “little Italy” neighborhood, surrounded by parenti and compaesani, I was exposed to the Italian ethics of hard work and accomplishment, loyalty and love, and the joy of turning the small pleasures in life into a celebration. When what is important to us falls away, these are the blessings that still  remain, and renew our passion for LIFE, in all of its vivid colors, through all of its ups and downs.

Like you, I am no stranger to loss.  As a result of my journey,  I have  figured out what it means to me to fully live.  For me, one route to serenity lies in the traditional Italian lifestyle habits  and wisdom that I grew up with and that I later on studied through my psychology and cross-cultural research.  I am passionate about my personal Italian prescription for well-being and happiness, no matter what life hands us: Spreading good cheer, primping a bit so that you feel good about yourself, building close relationships, making love a significant part of your life, and safe-guarding your health by  eating fresh, locally grown, home-cooked foods. It is also important to actively seek or create the  dolce, little rituals that soothe, comfort, and make ordinary life become extraordinary.  You will find lots of blog posts  right here on this topic that I know you will love. If you are Italian, Italian-American, or just love all things Italian, you will resonate with my “old world”  approach to shaping your precious life into all it can be.

For 2015 my focus is on AMORE, and what Italian thinkers throughout the ages can teach us about love. it is the topic of my upcoming book. Love is one of the most important components of a live well-lived, and on my AMORE tab you will find inspiring insights and hands-on suggestions for living a well-rounded life filled with love. Feel free to send the link to my articles to your friends and acquaintances if you find them interesting, but please no violation of copyright–all articles are the intellectual property of raeleenmautner.com and should be credited as such.

There are so many simple ways that we can help ourselves live happier , more meaningful lives.  LOVE is the new focus. We will explore romantic love and beyond. Relationships with Friends, Family, Co-Workers, Neighbors–they are all fair game on the Amore tab on this site.  Feel free to weigh in with your comments and thoughts. I LOVE to hear from my readers (no spam or advertising please).

Disclaimer: My articles and advice in no way substitute for professional help when needed.

May love, peace, and joy, be with you as you fill your life with AMORE  for 2015.


I am passionate about bringing my work to those of you who resonate with what I am about. Here are some ways you too can drink in my prescription for  la dolce vita:

RADIO: THE ITALIAN ART OF LIVING WELL  Radio Show  is broadcast every Monday morning from 7-8AM. We bring you Italy headlines, beautiful Italian music, sumptuous recipes, compelling interviews with Italians and Italian Americans making an impact on our society, mini-language lessons and my own brand of self-help insights from an Italian cultural perspective.  Our theme song is sung by classical cross-over artist Micheal Castaldo.  Tune in live on 88.7fm or stream in from anywhere in the world: www.wnhu.net (click on the upper left hand button “listen live”)

FACEBOOK: VISIT MY LEMONSintoLimoncello  Facebook page  AND press LIKE for lots of interesting articles on Italian cultural topics.

TWITTER: FOLLOW me on Twitter  for pearls of everyday self-help wisdom.

NEWSPAPER: READ My WEEKLY ADVICE COLUMN in the Italian Tribune.  You can also send me your questions about any area in life you would like my insight on. If your letter is chosen for publication I will use a pseudonym so as not to reveal your identity: raeleenmautner@gmail.com.

BOOKS (both chosen as the OSIA book club selection (Order of Sons and Daughters of Italy in America):

Dolce Vita reveals all you need to know to help you live the sweet-life through the simple traditions of Italy. It reminds us to slow down and learn to make each day a celebration of LIFE. Readers have told me it has turned their lives around and reminded them of what really counts.

Lemons into Limoncello is an Italian cultural perspective on getting through life’s challenges and loss. It has been called “inspiring” and “uplifting”. Some readers have left it on their bedside table when going through tough times, and said that even turning to a random paragraph has helped them get through even their lowest points. I hope it does the same for you.

Both books make great gifts for yourself, or to let someone in your life know how special they are to you. Click on cover to purchase through Amazon.

Living la Dolce Vita

Lemons into Limoncello

(The background image on this page is an original oil painting portrait of me, in the 70’s by renowned artist (and my beloved zio) Michele De Filippo, whose son Giuseppe, also an accomplished artist, continues to reside in Calabria )

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