“Dwell on the beauty of life. Watch the stars, and see yourself running with them.” 
― Marcus Aurelius

Lost in Rome

You can’t really trust your gut in Rome. Or at least you probably shouldn’t, as I was learning the hard way while trying to head over to Via Nazionale from the Termini train station — the biggest train station in the entire land. (In all the land you say? While that may be a slightContinue reading “Lost in Rome”


Antonello and I were headed to Umbria for the day, to meet my dad and Marilyn in the town of Spoleto. It was Epiphany morning, the last day of Christmas, and Italy takes the entire day as a national holiday, as if bidding adieu to the entire season with the proper fanfare it’s due. WeContinue reading “Epiphany”

Winter Once A Year

I was not expecting snow. Not yesterday at least. We’ve spent the last month driving by the view of the mountains right outside of Macerata, looking out at their wintry peaks all crowned with snow, wondering when we’d ever get to put on our snow shoes and take walks in the mountains ourselves. Antonello especiallyContinue reading “Winter Once A Year”

Hello, Bologna

It feels good to be in Bologna again. We’d tried to take a trip here at the beginning of December — for the Immacolata, a national holiday celebrating the Immaculate Conception of Mary — but I felt sick on the drive up (we got as far as Senigallia and then had to turn right around)Continue reading “Hello, Bologna”

The New Year

Last night we found Cardamom huddled under the bed in the guestroom, waiting for the fireworks to end. Everyone was at our house — Antonello’s brothers and their wives — crowded on our bedroom balcony watching Macerata explode in a midnight symphony of color and noise. Here people were setting off the most elaborate fireworks:Continue reading “The New Year”

A Midnight Clear

It is minutes away from Christmas Day here in Italy, and I’m having a hard time believing it’s Christmas. I’ve just filled stockings (four of them — one for Cardamom, too: she’s already rolling around in the wrapping paper) and wrapped presents (I still have more to go) and made some Christmas cookies (the chocolateContinue reading “A Midnight Clear”


I am driving to the village of Castelli on a cold afternoon in December. I am following the shoreline, down the highway from Le Marche to Abruzzo, and then turning inland just past the border, one sharp turn toward the Gran Sasso and its endless mountain range. Here in Abruzzo, the mountains lean down overContinue reading “Castelli”


Christmas is coming. That’s for sure. Even as the evening light and the golden leaves that litter the roads still spell out autumn, every day since Thanksgiving has felt a little colder, a little brisker, as if Christmas heard that November was ending and swept in to make its grand entrance. Now there are twinklingContinue reading “Festive”


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