Love from a Roman Kitchen

I went to Rome this week. I savored local specialties like spaghetti alla carbonara and saltimbocca alla romana. I strolled through the lively markets of Testaccio and Campo de’ Fiori. I garnered tips on cooking pasta al dente (it should resist the tooth—but the tooth...

Italy’s New Year Celebrations

In ancient times, the new year began in the Spring. In 153 B.C., the Romans moved the start of a new year to January 1 and dedicated the first month to Janus, the two-faced god who looks back toward the old year and ahead toward the new one. For six days, Romans...

Italy’s Days of Wine and Olives

The warm days of early November –- known as Indian summer in the United States –- are called l’estate di San Martino (the summer of St. Martin) in Italy. Wine producers celebrate the saint’s feast on November 11 by uncorking the vino novello (new wine) from the...

I Wrote A New Book on Italy–And It’s Free!

  Not even a global pandemic can stop people from doing what they love. Over the last few months, we’ve seen dancers dance; singers sing; actors perform—wherever and whenever they could.  The same is true of writers. While sheltering at home in California, I...