The Great Garibaldi Press Mess

  Dear Blog Readers, On Monday I spent 15 hours on the Italian Aircraft Carrier Garibaldi covering a summit between Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Hollande. The three leaders visited the Italian Island of Venotene and then arrived on the Garibaldi by helicopter for a press conference. The […]


Traveling with Pope Francis in Armenia

Dear Blog Readers, This post is going to be a behind-the-scenes photo album of the trip to Armenia with the Pope because it is too late to fill you in on all the news. On Friday morning I got up at 5am to get ready to head for the airport and the first thing I […]


Pope Francis heads to Armenia

Pope Francis leaves Friday morning for a three-day trip to Armenia where he will visit a memorial for the victims of the Armenian Genocide and push for peace, symbolically releasing a dove near the Turkish border. Given the Brexit vote, this trip may get less attention than some of his other trips but, as a […]


Only in Naples – Katherine Wilson’s Story

June 18, 2016
By | in Italian Culture | 17 Comments

Dear Blog Readers- My journalist friend Barbie Nadeau (of Daily Beast and CNN fame)  wrote to me the other day introducing me to her friend Katherine Wilson, author of the recently published memoir about Naples, “Only in Naples: Lessons in Food and Famiglia from My Italian Mother-in-Law.”  Katherine wrote that she was eager to meet […]


The Elizabeth Spicer Story

June 2, 2016
By | in Art and Life | 9 Comments

Dear Blog Readers— My story about my five times great grandmother Elizabeth Spicer who was captured by Native American Indians and lived with them for a couple of years back in the 1700s has finally been published. I first posted the story on this blog many years ago, see blog post “Elizabeth the Brave” if […]


Six Roman Emperors & their Mothers, Daughters and Lovers

May 19, 2016
By | in Uncategorized | 21 Comments

Dear Blog Readers, Did you know that Julius Caesar was kidnapped by pirates as a boy, that Emperor Hadrian was madly in love with a young man named Antinous, that Agrippina killed her husband Emperor Claudius by feeding him poisoned mushrooms, or that the great Emperor Augustus banished his only daughter to a deserted island […]


A Cantankerous Prince and a Superwoman Winemaker

“I don’t drink coffee,” Alessia Antinori declares as she looks out at the neat rows of organically grown lettuce, peas, fava beans and others vegetables at the Fattoria Fiorano in Rome. “I drink wine.” “You have got to be kidding?” I say, putting down my pen and taking a break from my frenetic note taking. […]


Is it Time for a New Watch?

April 25, 2016
By | in Art and Life | 22 Comments

The other day I noticed these tiny little Roman numerals sticking on the inside of the face of my watch. A minuscule, upside-down “I” near the number 12, an “X” down by the 4, an “L” over by the 6. Given that my watch uses Arabic numerals, it took me a while to figure out […]