My girlfriend, Marina, finally started working from home Monday. I could hear her exhale as she left her office near the Vatican two miles from my apartment. She no longer works around elderly men, the […]
(Editor’s note: I was planning on posting this Monday but yesterday was meant for remembering Kobe Bryant and not a relatively meaningless soccer game in Rome.Riposa in pace, Kobe.) It was a terrific idea to […]
FRASCATI, Italy — Daniele Cernilli remembers when he was a little boy in Rome 50 years ago, back when Italian cinema was booming and so was the economy. His father used to send him to […]
Under the Lazio Sun: Finding a home in the Italian countryside isn’t easy but here are some tips how
BAGNOREGIO, Italy — It didn’t all start with Frances Mayes. Yes, her 1996 blockbuster “Under the Tuscan Sun” made owning a house in the Italian countryside seem like Nirvana with better food. But mankind has […]
I’m pretty sure no one has ever written thank you to Mussolini, at least not in the last 70 years or so. Yes, he is a big reason Marina and I don’t have to board a plane or boat to relax on some of the best beaches in Europe. Papardo’ Beach is 85 miles south of Rome in an underrated part of the Lazio region that is sprinkled with cute towns and beaches that get more gorgeous with every kilometer you drive. Foreigners don’t come here much. Italians do. They know the convenience and pleasure of this area known as Agro Pontino, particularly now during Rome’s driest summer in the last 60 years. Where else in Europe can you get a tan and swim in a crystal-blue sea then eat a seafood feast for two with a bottle of local white wine for under 70 euros? Italians also appreciate this area for another reason.
They know in the 1930s this whole area was a swamp.
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I arrived on a cool, cloudy day which means I saw the lake different than nearly every Roman who has visited it. It was practically empty. Normally, its sliver-narrow beach is lined with umbrellas from Romans escaping the heat. Yesterday, the 22-square-mile lake had only a couple of passersby. One middle-aged man in a heavy coat stood on the bank and held his head up to the sky with his eyes closed, trying to will some glimpse of sun onto his face. The lake isn’t massive but is so close to Rome it looks like the Pacific Ocean. It’s cobalt blue and surrounded by the rolling hills of the rugged northern Lazio countryside.