Summer in Italian: Buon Ferragosto!

Years ago I celebrated my first Italian Ferragosto in Capri, a most fitting (though crowded) place to be on August 15. The Roman emperor Augustus, whose name graces summer’s last month, was so enamored with the beguiling island of Capri that he appropriated it from...

Summer in Italian: Vacation Time

  Italy goes on vacation in August.  Even in not-yet-normal times, shops are shuttered, restaurants closed, streets quiet. Cities empty as residents join the esodo estivo (summer exodus), the  mass departure of Italians heading off for their ferie estive (summer...

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...

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...