Rome in the Time of Coronavirus

The cobblestone streets in the center of Rome – usually teeming with tourists – are empty.  At the Colosseum a woman with a big white sanitary mask on her face poses for a selfie.  In St. Peter’s Square a young couple walk past in black face masks, a guidebook in hand.  At the Trevi Fountain […]

Madagascar: Magnificent and Impoverished

Two teenage girls squat on the ground at the sprawling Antananarivo garbage dump sorting detritus.  Around them hills of garbage spread in all directions, little trails winding through the mounds like a golf course gone rotten.  Instead of golf carts making their way down the fairways, there are trucks, 14 of them come every day rumbling their […]

Running the Marmore Rapids

July 25, 2019
By | in Art and Life | One Comment

Dear Blog Readers, If you are thinking of coming to Italy, forget “Under the Tuscan Sun”  and lounging around olive groves sipping white wine, eating pasta and dipping your bread in fragrant olive oil.  That’s for namby-pambies. It is time to get yourself a few goose bumps and an adrenalin high UNDER the Marmore Falls. […]

It’s Raining Lemons…

Last weekend I took a trip to the Amalfi coast with some friends and, at the suggestion of a colleague from the foreign press association, we decided to try and find Salvatore Aceto and his lemon farm. After landing in the port of Amalfi, teeming with tourists dragging trolleys and buying trinkets, we pushed past […]

Pope Francis and the Press

Dear Blog Readers, Yesterday, over two hundred journalists from the Foreign Press Association in Italy had an audience with Pope Francis. As the current President, I got to deliver a speech on behalf of the group. I worked on it for weeks and it was a summary of what I think are the challenges for […]

Learning to Listen on Ventotene

Dear Blog Readers, Last weekend I traveled to the tiny island of Ventotene, about 25 miles (40 kilometers) off the coast of Italy, to participate in the Festival for European Solidarity in the Mediterranean (Festival dell’Europa Solidale e del Mediterranneo) bringing students, refugees, activists and journalists together to talk about how to overcome racism and […]

Baby Flamingos step out for Easter in Rome

Dear Blog Readers, Last Thursday I was between editing the Pope’s Easter Thursday Chrism Mass (where he blesses all the vats of oil to be used in Rome parishes for the year), covering an Amnesty International press conference on how they will be monitoring hate speech used on social media by politicians running in the […]

A New Direction…

March 17, 2019
By | in Uncategorized | 41 Comments

I have a little piece of good news to share with you which will explain why, for the next year, I won’t be posting so often on this blog,  I am the newly-elected President of the Foreign Press Association in Italy (Associazione della Stampa Estera in Italia, the biggest foreign press association in the […]