LEI – Language Confusion

September 15, 2011
By | in Language and Gestures | 9 Comments
LEI  – Language Confusion

  When I moved to Italy many years ago, my husband tried to make the whole formality issue simple for me.  In Italian ‘Lei’ is the formal ‘you’ and ‘tu’ is the informal ‘you. “Use the LEI form with everyone,” he said. “That way you can’t go wrong.” A few weeks later I found myself […]


Porcini Mushroom Adventure

September 13, 2011
By | in Food Fiascos | 5 Comments

Food is nearly always top priority for Italians. A certain delicacy may even be worth physical risk.  One example is the behavior of Roman cameraman Massimo Mariani.  According to the story recounted to me by CBS producer/editor Jos Mason, Massimo was in the back of a jeep headed with a CBS crew down some rough […]


The Tailhook and the Elegant Dinner Party

September 10, 2011
By | in Being Mamma | 14 Comments

There have been exciting moments on the job at APTN that I could use to surprise Italians who might have believed in my ‘Brava Mamma Italiana’ act. During the wars in Bosnia and Kosovo, APTN frequently sent us onto aircraft carriers from which fighter jets were flying bombing missions.  Getting flown onto an aircraft carrier […]


Linguini and Luscious Legs

September 7, 2011
By | in Women in Italy | 30 Comments

The summer in Italy is a particularly trying time for a woman, especially in the sunny South.  Rome is boiling hot in July and August, and Romans clear out of the city, heading for the mountains or beaches, leaving the tourists to swelter as they plod from the Coliseum to St. Peter’s Square.  Anyone who […]


Bucatini all’Amatriciana

September 6, 2011
By | in Italian Recipes | 3 Comments

Print (Hollow pasta with pork cheek and onion) Ingredients 1 pound bucatini, perciatelli, or spaghetti ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil 1 medium onion, chopped fine 4 ounces guanciale or 4 slices pancetta, cut in ½-inch pieces 1 small dried red pepper ½ cup white wine 3 cups rich tomato sauce or crushed canned plum […]


Amatriciana in the Blender

September 6, 2011
By | in Food Fiascos | 8 Comments

One of the most popular Italian pasta dishes is Bucatini all’Amatriciana.  Bucatini is a sort of fat spaghetti and the Amatriciana sauce is made with tomatoes, pieces of guanciale (a type of  bacon) and onion.  I learned how to make this sauce but then I decided that I didn’t like chunks of tomatoes, bacon and […]


From Tritons to Mermaids

September 5, 2011
By | in Art and Life | 2 Comments

 It was the first day of school today for my daughter who was starting Junior High School and this American Mom got it all wrong. On the school website it said that the kids were supposed to be there between 9 and 9:40. At 9:10 I was driving to school and the cell phone rang […]


Mozzarella Kids

September 3, 2011
By | in Being Mamma | 6 Comments

Probably the most popular and symbolic Italian delicacy is the mozzarella.  A mamma friend once explained to me that she was worried she was raising her children to be mozzarellas.  A lot of Americans think of mozzarella as that yellowy, gooey glop on the top of a cheese pizza. That doesn’t count.  Real Italian mozzarella […]