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A Memoir Inspired by a Passion for Italy

In 1995 on my first trip to Italy, the past I had buried so deep crept closer. Italy yanked the strings, pulling bits and pieces to the surface, pressing me to unravel. Italy called me to reveal myself, but I wasn’t ready.

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The Best Ways to Learn A Foreign Language

The editors at  Outwit Trade recently asked  an array of language learners and experts “What is the best way to learn a foreign language?”    Here are the strategies I suggested for studying Italian:

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Fellini’s Passion for Film

In a business built on dreams, Federico Fellini, born a century ago, may have been the biggest dreamer of all.  As a boy in Rimini, he kept a sketch pad by his bed so he could record his vivid fantasies. His lifelong passion was transforming his visions into stories to share with the world.

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Celebrating Fathers in Italy and in Italian

In Italy La Festa del Papà  falls on March 19, the feast of San Giuseppe (St. Joseph), the husband of Mary and earthly father of Jesus. In the United States we celebrate  fathers on the third Sunday of June. I welcome any  chance  to honor the men we love so much–whatever the date and whatever we call them.

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Mona Lisa’s Latest Adventure: A Covid Birthday

Leonardo’s muse, Mona (Madame) Lisa Gherardini del Giocondo, was born 541 years ago on June 15, 1479.  Few art works have experienced more adventures—and misadventures—in and out of the frame. The Florentine matron has shed her stately robes and appeared in sunglasses, hair curlers, burka, kimono  Mickey Mouse ears, black boots, Santa hat, see-through blouse and nothing at all. She’s straddled a motorcycle and a mule, flashed her underwear, skateboarded, skied, smoked a joint and engaged in a kinky array of X-rated activities.  NASA once bounced Mona Lisa’s image off the moon.   Why not?  She’s been everywhere else.

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The Magnificent Passion of Lorenzo de’ Medici

The Medici, the dynasty that governed Renaissance Florence, blazed into the 21st century in a three-part Netflix series. While many dispute its historical accuracy, the  the lavish production captures the seize-the-day spirit of the age.  Certainly the handsome actor cast as the most magnificent Medici, bears little resemblance to the supremely but seductively ugly Lorenzo (1449-1492).

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