L’alfabeto A aperitivo B balsamico C ciao D donna E espresso F figura G gelato H hotel I italiano L limone M mamma N nociola O opera P prosciutto, parmigiano, pizza Q questo o quello R Roma S scarpe T … Continued

Il Bagno

  You know that sooner or later you will need to use a public restroom in Italy. And you are in for a treat.  No country that I have ever visited has such variety when it comes to the WC.   … Continued

The Benefits of Failing at Italian

After reading a witty, self-deprecating, and insightful New York Times essay by William Alexander, where he detailed the benefits of learning a second language as an adult, “The Benefits of Failing at French,” I decided to come clean on my … Continued

Bologna May and November 2017

I lived as a university student on Via D’Azeglio for a year and like to think of Bologna as my second home; but I realized after two brief trips there in May and November 2017 that there were several key … Continued

The Maremma

  It was Dante Alighieri who introduced me to the Maremma. He referred to this land several times in the Inferno and Purgatory, depicting it as an inhospitable, disease-laden marsh. Located near the border of Tuscany and Lazio, the Maremma … Continued

Liguria again, and again, and again

We hiked just north of the Cinque Terre for three days. We were exhausted every day after our adventure:  one day due to steps, another due to the steep inclines and descents, and another due to rocks and at times … Continued


I first came to Italy forty-five years ago. Today, May 7, 2017, I find myself in Italy once again, with a friend, about to embark on a writing fellowship. Our destination is Borseda, a small village in the mountains of … Continued

My first memory of Italy

My first memory of Italy is of our arrival in Milan around dawn. The train station seems mysterious, very, very large and full of smoke—dreamlike. The first word that I hear spoken by an Italian in Italy is “porter.” Although … Continued

La mia prima memoria

La mia prima memoria dell’Italia è il nostro arrivo a Milano verso l’alba. La stazione ferroviaria sembra misteriosa, grandissima e piena di fumo—quasi un sogno. La prima parola che sento parlata da un italiano in Italia, è “facchino”. Sebbene il … Continued