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 […]

Oh no. Not daylight savings time again. It’s the world’s device to make the most out of daylight, but I think it’s a dreadful little scheme to keep me in the dark. It’s just too difficult for the mathematically impaired, like me. I’m a word guy. I didn’t always feel this way. There was a […]

It’s not exactly “Acqua-gate,” but Silvio Berlusconi has been sentenced to jail again, this time he got a year for wire tapping a political opponent. Sound familiar? In another country, a jail sentence would put a crimp in plans to lead the country, but this is Italy, and he’ll never do the time. If this […]

Here are a few more of Rome’s ill-kept secrets, this time post-Renaissance quirks to consider as you await word on the next pope.   What do you call those little square cobblestones at most historic places in Rome? Sampietrini. Despite the fact that they are hell on high heels and as slippery when wet, Romans […]

The eyes of the world will be on Rome during the next couple of weeks. Cardinals and the Catholic hierarchy have arrived in the Eternal City from around the world to select a new pope. It made me think of some of the questions I had when visiting Rome and some of the answers I […]