July 23 2013 / Food & Wine

Tartufi.. here yet?


In early July, Severino and Italo, local farmers and passionate tartufari, were speculating on the debut of this summer’s scorzone (black summer

July 5 2013 / Events

Jazz Passione Takes Over Perugia

Perugia, Umbria

As he hobbled across the stage, head of fluffy white hair bobbing, clutching his sax, he brought the delirious crowds

June 14 2013 / Events

Fire and Dew for San Giovanni

Grello, Umbria

In the tiny Umbrian mountain village, Grello (pop. 45), the celebrations around the solstice have no one standing still: young men

May 30 2013 / Local Interest

Sant’Anatolia’s new museum

Sant'Anatolia di Narco, Umbria

As you come out of the 5-kilometer tunnel linking the Umbrian Valley to the Valnernina, you enter another world: poppies

May 15 2013 / Local Interest

Passione for Journalism

Perugia, Umbria

As we waited to hear the panel discussion “Syria – civil war or media war?”, I asked Giacomo, a 24

April 30 2013 / Places

Nothing missing in Vallo di Nera

Vallo di Nera, Umbria

We met ninety-four year old Settimio, out for his daily morning stroll, as we entered the charming Nera River Valley

April 11 2013 / Food & Wine

La Roveja, che zuppa!

Cascia, Umbria

The coldest spring in fifty years calls for zuppa di roveja! We first tried this “bonta’” on an icy January

March 28 2013 / Local Interest

Blessed Easter Abundance


Driving through the Umbrian countryside during the week prior to Easter, you’ll note whiffs of smoke drifting up from the

March 15 2013 / Local Interest

Excitement in Assisi

Assisi, Umbria

In Assisi, euphoria reigns in the Sacro Convento – the Franciscan monastery attached to the 13th century Basilica di San

March 6 2013 / Local Interest

La Veglia, Rural Fireside Chat


Rural after-dinner fireside chats – called la veglia – once warmed winter nights, literally and figuratively as farm families gathered

February 26 2013 / Food & Wine

Persimmon Nut Bread of the Gods


Drive through the late fall/early winter Umbrian countryside and you might be lucky enough to see a tree with orange

February 15 2013 / Events

The Winter Saints

Perugia, Umbria

I’ve dubbed them santi d’inverno (winter saints), three patron saints of Umbrian medieval towns, Trevi, Foligno and Perugia: early Christian

February 7 2013 / Local Interest

The Voglia and the Doglia

Umbria, Italy

During my first pregnancy in 1979, shopping at the outdoor mercato took a while as every vendor tried to give

January 28 2013 / Local Interest

Those Handy Italians


Rome’s Colosseum, Venice’s Piazza San Marco, Florence’s David, Missoni, Prada, Benetton, the pasta, the pizza, and gelato are not Italy’s

January 17 2013 / Local Interest

The Edicola; from Deities to Newspapers

Assisi, Umbria

In the Greco-Roman ancient world – and even in ancient Egypt –  edicole flanked imposing city entrances or temples (or were

December 14 2012 / Local Interest

Sculptures on Assisi rooftops

Assisi, Umbria

As you stroll Assisi – and many other medieval hill towns – walk “bi-focally”: one eye down to watch your

November 26 2012 / Events

Unto, nothing unctuous about it at all!

Assisi, Umbria

Here in Assisi, we certainly hope that the November UNTO festival will not in any way be the final or last oil (as

November 14 2012 / Events

Corri dall’oliva


Santa Caterina, lascia la ghianda e corri dall’oliva, the Umbrian farmers counsel. (“For St Catherine’s (Nov. 25th), leave the acorns

November 5 2012 / Food & Wine

Pasta Dolce


A few days ago, Peppa was sitting on a bench near her chicken coop, splitting open walnuts open with a

October 24 2012 / Events

La Macchina di Santa Rosa

Viterbo, Lazio

La macchina di Santa Rosa is not the “car” of Santa Rosa, nor of anyone else for that matter: it’s

October 10 2012 / Local Interest

Poco ma buono


That’s what the wine experts unanimously declare for the 2012 vintage. The lack of rain and intense summer heat hampered

September 14 2012 / Local Interest

Benvenuta, Beatrice!


Italy burned this summer and not just figuratively but literally: over twenty-thousand fires ravaged the peninsula, the result of the

July 25 2012 / Food & Wine

Granita: Sicilian Thirst-Quencher


Arab influences are strong in Sicily, from the architecture to the sweets, from the underground Arab aqueducts of Palermo to

July 10 2012 / Local Interest

Giugno, la falce in pugno…

Assisi, Umbria

“June, scythe in fist” says the old Italian proverb, re-echoing the days of scything hay manually. Times have changed… at