Summer in Italian: Sailing

For years we sailed San Francisco Bay in a boat called Canto del Mare (Song of the Sea). When we started sailing in Italy, we had to master a new maritime vocabulary, starting with the names for various Italian boats (imbarcazioni italiane): *Rowboat — barca a remi...

Summer in Italian: A Season in the Sun

  Italians sometimes describe themselves as “solari” (sunny, cheerful, radiant). Il sole italiano (the Italian sun) certainly has inspired il culto del sole (sun worship) throughout the peninsula. Could anyone other than Italians have written a love song to the...

Summer in Italian: Swimming

I swam my way through the pandemic.  As soon as Covid restrictions eased, our community pool reopened—with social distancing, which meant no more than two swimmers at a time. By coming late in the day I almost always have had the pool to myself. Lovely as it is to be...

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...