Back in Gritty, Gorgeous Catania

November 13, 2016
By | in Art and Life, Italian Culture | 16 Comments

I went back this weekend to the gritty, vibrant, gorgeous city of Catania, Sicily for another story on migrants. After a week of feeling despondent about the bitterness of the US elections, it was a thrill go back and breathe in the city’s energy. Catania has been conquered and ruled by Romans, Arabs, Byzantines, Normans […]


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 […]


Scraping Away at Ghiberti’s North Doors

November 29, 2015
By | in Art and Life, Italian Culture | 13 Comments

Last week I had the rare opportunity to dedicate myself for two days to a feature story in Florence, the restoration of Lorenzo Ghiberti’s North Doors on the Florence baptistery and the making of a replica. After becoming discouraged about the current situation in Rome (see last post “Ravishing, Rotten Rome”) it was refreshing to […]


Ravishing, Rotten Rome

November 17, 2015
By | in Art and Life, Italian Culture | 6 Comments

The other night I happened to be passing through Piazza del Popolo at dusk as I headed home from work. My mind was spinning around the events of the day: a massive corruption trial in Rome, and more scandals at the Vatican. As I briskly clipped my way over the cobblestones, my thoughts, interspersed with […]


The Titanic Vacation

I could make a  series of movies titled “Titanic Vacations with my Family” staring my husband, of course, the frustrated, middle-aged man secretly in love with that rather mechanical woman inside his car navigator who occasionally re-routes but never talks back and he can always turn off during moments of tension. That navigatrice is in […]


Rose Petals Raining on Rome

August 22, 2015
By | in Italian Culture | 16 Comments

Rose petals launched from a low-flying helicopter fluttered down from the sky over hundreds of teary-eyed friends of an alleged criminal clan boss on Thursday at a funeral in Rome. The casket arrived in an elaborate black carriage with gold trimmings fit for Cinderella. Six black horses with black plumed headdresses pulled the carriage, as […]


Being Berlusconi – Italy’s Donald Trump

July 29, 2015
By | in Italian Culture | 26 Comments

As American businessman Donald Trump steals the US election campaign show, dominating the press coverage and moving to the top of the polls among Republicans in the primary, many American intellectuals are asking how this buffoon can be so successful. Frank Bruni, New York Times op-ed writer and former correspondent in Rome, recently wrote a […]


The Toilet Paper War

It all started on a Tuesday morning at 7am a few weeks ago when I went into the bathroom and discovered there was no toilet paper. I sleepily shuffled over to the other bathroom where my Italian husband was shaving and knocked on the door and said: “Hey, can you hand me out some toilet […]