Welcoming Spring in Italian

In English the most eagerly awaited of seasons “springs” to life with blunt urgency. In Italian la primavera blossoms into four elegant syllables. My etymological dictionary traces primavera back to radici indoeuropee (Indo-European roots): prima for “before” and vas...

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 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...