Celebrating Fathers in Italy and around the World

On Father’s Day I cherish a special memory: the last time I danced with my Dad, at an Italian-American banquet in Northeastern Pennsylvania.   My mother had died a few months before, and I decided to bring my broken-hearted Dad along with me on a book tour that would...

Happy Birthday to the Real Mona Lisa!

Lisa Gherardini del Giocondo (June 15, 1479 — July 15, 1542) My quest for the real Mona Lisa began years ago in Florence when I was doing research for LA BELLA LINGUA. An art historian who befriended me casually mentioned during a dinner at her home that the mother...

Celebrating Mothers in Italy and around the World

Italy has been celebrating mothers for more than 2000 years. As the dark, cold winter gave way to the bright rebirth of Spring, the ancient Romans paid tribute to their gods of fertility. One holiday, Matronalia, was dedicated to Juno, the queen of the gods, and...