Kicking off Venice Carnival

Dear Blog Readers, Ok, I admit it.  I needed an excuse to get out of Rome and be distracted.  I got a nasty flu after Christmas and at the last minute had to back out of going on the Papal Trip to Chile and Peru. That was a big, important trip and I missed it.  […]


Babington’s Tea Rooms 125th Birthday Bash

January 28, 2018
By | in Art and Life | 16 Comments

Dear Blog Readers, This week, Rome’s most famous tea rooms, Babingtons, celebrated their 125th anniversary at Villa Wolkonsky, the British Ambassador’s residence. For those who have never heard of Babingtons, it is a Tea Room that serves a proper English Tea with scones, cakes and biscuits just at the foot of Rome’s Spanish Steps. On […]


Precious Cargo

Nineteen-year-old Precious is a smiling, laughing, living testament to human resilience. She sits at the end of a table in a safe house near Rome for Nigerian sex slaves who have managed to escape their exploiters and tells me her story. The first impression of Precious, with her beautiful, gentle face, smooth skin, lively brown […]


The Marvelously Ugly White Truffle

November 19, 2017
By | in Art and Life, Food Fiascos | 14 Comments

Dear Blog Readers – I am on a train headed back to Rome after a busy weekend bouncing around the Piedmont region of Italy with Italy’s Foreign Press Association’s “Gruppo Del Gusto” a sort of Culinary Club of journalists who travel around Italy visiting towns looking at local foods and food production, eating a lot […]


What is Wrong With Romans?

November 1, 2017
By | in Italian Culture | 22 Comments

My frustration over the bad attitude of Romans has boiled over this week and is spilling into this blog…. It started as I was walking across Piazza del Popolo heading home the other day.  There is a lot of activity in the Piazza in the late afternoon and early evening.  Usually a street entertainer is […]


Passing the Babies and Forgiving the Unforgivable in Colombia

A week ago today, I found myself standing on a street corner in a Cartagena slum with a handful of photographers, camerapersons and reporters—what is known as a tight pool.  As always when we cover the Pope, we were dressed in black.  Sweat was soaking through our clothing and I could feel the drops running […]


Pope Francis’ Push for Peace in Colombia

Dear Blog Readers – Next Wednesday I will be heading to Colombia on the Papal plane to cover Pope Francis’ five-day  trip to four Colombian cities as part as his effort to boost the peace process.  I intend to do a post once I am back so this is just a little preview – mostly […]


Rome’s Water Worries

Dear Blog Readers – My colleagues and I have been dedicating our week to covering the drought in Italy and the problem of water supply for the city of Rome. It is hard to believe that Rome, a city surrounded by ancient Roman aqueducts, where water flows freely in fabulous fountains, is now struggling to […]