Two days in Rome isn’t much time.  In fact, two weeks in Rome, the Eternal City that was once the center of the universe, is not enough time to discover Rome’s treasures and its romance. But a typical tourist can do a reasonable job in two days, hitting the highlights: The Vatican, the Colosseum, the […]

So you’re planning a trip to Italy and you want to be prepared. We all know that the fun starts when the planning starts. It’s the time when your imagination paints pictures: Of yesterday’s ruins where history began and of today’s hilltop hamlets that refuse to relinquish their connection to the past. You’re going to […]

I have spent a lifetime trying to satiate my passions. I know that’s embarrassingly self-indulgent and like many self-aware Americans, I often tried to hide my obsessions. Then I moved to Italy. I found an entire country of free spirits. From Milano to Palermo, Italians live their lives in quest of perfect pleasures. I don’t […]

Not long after Jenny returned from an extended visit with her family in Florida, she admitted that she had missed the “sounds of Italy.” Sounds? I found that curious. It’s undeniable that Italy is a feast for the sense … the feel of omnipresent history, the excitement of driving the Amalfi Coast. Tourists traverse oceans […]

Dear Readers: Some of you may have noticed that these pages have been abandoned lately, like fields of sunflowers left unharvested on Italian hillsides. You see that from time to time. It’s not that the field isn’t rich with the fruit of the “girasole,” and it’s not that my mind isn’t filled with the seeds […]

Easter in Italy has a different feel from Easter in the states. I know that sounds vague, but you know the way days feel different. Saturdays have a Saturday feel. And that feeling is different from a Sunday feel and distinctly different from a Monday feel. Mondays are easy. It has to do with alarm […]

  “Guilty,” Francesco said with a hand slap on the table. “Amanda Knox is guilty. “The bleach proves it conclusively.” “The bleach?” I asked. “What bleach?” “The bleach, you know. She went to the store the morning after the murder to buy bleach. She said it was to do the wash.” It was clear that […]

The haunting melody of 100 voices came seeping through the window of our restored apartment in a 200-year-old building. That’s the way it is. In Italy, you can be insulated from the world outside, but not isolated. When the green shutters are open, the sights, sounds and smells find their way in. And we like […]

Picture this: Silvio Berlusconi at the wheel of a Ford Figo, three buxom girls in the trunk … bound and gagged. The racy ad, made in India, has ignited Italian passion. There’s lots going on it Italy. It’s holy week. The new pope and the emeritus pope chatted at Castel Gandolfo about the Vatican scandals. […]

I arrived early for an eight o’clock dinner at a fun Milanese restaurant called Da Willy. Because of Milan’s un-navigable streets and peculiar ecological restrictions, it’s best when driving from my home in Como to park at a public lot outside the city and take the subway in. That’s what I did last night, giving […]