La Nuvola is Rome’s answer to modern architectural marvels, a bookend to the legendary monuments this city built 2,000 years ago. Known formerly as the Nuovi Centro Congressi (New Congress Center), it is a gargantuan glass cube made up of 592,000 square feet of convention space. Built from 2008-16, it was awarded the 2012 Best […]
Dante Alighieri: Italy celebrates 700-year anniversary of his death as we all live through our own endless “Inferno”
Italy celebrates the 700-year anniversary of Dante Alighieri’s death while I reflect on one of my favorite books as a young adult.
Birthday in Lockdown Italy: In lieu of travel, my birthday was lunch and dreams and pray for a vaccine
Since moving to Rome in 2014, birthdays have never been dates of dread. I don’t see them as another year older. At my age, 65, they blend together, like cards in an ever-growing deck. Instead, birthdays in Rome are dates for adventure. Every birthday, on or around March 29, Marina and I head off to […]
The Augustus Mausoleum was the first of its kind in Ancient Rome, built even before the Pantheon. It has reopened to the public for the first time in 14 years.
Lockdown Rome II: A 3rd Covid wave floods over Italy and three weeks of isolation awaits us once again
Gray skies the shade of a lonely broken highway greeted me Tuesday as I ventured out for the first time in Episode 1 of “Lockdown Rome: Season 2.” The science fiction tale of a broken, 3,000-year-old city has a different feel this time. A year ago, this city of 2.8 million felt like the day […]
ANZIO, Italy — You can’t tour Rome and Southern Italy without being in awe of the monstrous footprint this civilization laid down 2,000 years ago. Monuments and market places, mausoleums and temples, the most powerful civilization in man’s history stretched from what is now Great Britain to Persia. Peoples and armies in between cowered with […]
Palestrina: A Rome day trip back 2,200 years ago to the powerful Roman Republic and a massive sanctuary
PALESTRINA, Italy — Before the Virgin Mary there was Fortuna Primigenia. She was the Roman Goddess of Fate, the oldest daughter of Jupiter. In 204 B.C., as the Roman Republic flexed its muscles, the largest sanctuary on the Italian peninsula was built in her honor. Stretching 1,300 feet at the base and crawling up the […]
Naples Underground: 35 meters under a crowded street is an eerie walk through 2,500 years of dark history
Naples Underground covers 2,500 years of Naples history dating back to the Ancient Greeks.
Valentine’s Day in pandemic Rome: A romantic hotel and tracing Spartacus’ footsteps on the Appian Way
The Appian Way is Rome’s road of blood. The other day Marina and I walked nearly six miles of arguably Italy’s most famous road, a hike always shrouded in violent history. It was on this road that Spartacus and his 6,000 slaves were crucified (See “Spartacus: Failed Labor Revolts”) in 73 B.C. It was on […]
The Torlonia Marbles: Ancient history with a view as Rome museums cautiously open in middle of a pandemic
Italy is crawling with yellow fever. I am. It’s all over me. From my head to my toes to my senses all the way to my taste buds and brain. But I’m not suffering. No, I am wallowing in bliss. Going against the grain set by the rest of the European Union, on Feb. 1 […]
Hello again from post-lockdown Italy where Monday I finished my second quasi house arrest in the land that Covid first engulfed. I was in lockdown so long I started a 10-part Netflix series on blood clots. I walked past pubs, long closed, and got weepy at the mere sight of a Peroni sign. My mask […]
It took only one week for my adopted country of Italy to have a more screwed-up government than my old country in the United States. On Tuesday, Italy’s government collapsed. Prime minister Giuseppe Conte, the popular political outsider who steered Italy from the most Covid-bashed country in the world into calm seas, turned in his […]