Every country has a food culture and at the top of Malta’s food chain is rabbit. It’s tradition to eat it on Sundays and the country even has 14 restaurants specializing in rabbit and two cities specializing in rabbit restaurants. During my five-day trip to Malta two weeks ago, I went to one of them. Yes, rabbits are cute. But they’re also tasty. While 550,000 rabbits are killed in Malta every year, agencies and government ministries are out to help the rabbits’ benefits as much as possible. My last of a three-part blog on Malta.
Malta movies: “Europe’s Hollywood” in spotlight with blockbusters from “Game of Thrones” to “Jurassic Park”
Malta has been the site of 150 films over the years, including 20 since the pandemic began two years ago. The island nation south of Sicily is versatile enough to look like everything from Israel during the Middle Ages to medieval France to modern Rome. I took an all-day tour of many of the sites and the Malta Film Studios where they’ve shot countless water scenes.
Malta: Speck of sand and ancient land in Mediterranean Sea thriving through “concrete” growing pains
I had a hard time convincing Italians that Malta is a worthy destination. Even my girlfriend, Marina, was hesitant. I took the leap anyway last week and while I did see their criticisms of overgrowth and “a concrete jungle,” I saw so much else to offer. Beautiful sea with built-in individual stone pools. Best weather of my life. Fascinating history. Gorgeous architecture. The kind Maltese don’t like what much of it has become but I’ll be back. I’m developing a taste for rabbit.
I’m often reminded of why I live in Italy and last week’s Texas massacre gave me another reason. An 18-year-old walked into a gunstore and legally bought two semi-automatic weapons to blow away 19 children, aged 9-11, and two adults. You can’t buy semi-automatic weapons in Italy. You need certificates from doctors in Italy. You need safety courses in Italy. Five years after the Las Vegas massacre moved me to compare the gun laws in my two countries, I’m forced to do an update.
A.S. Roma on verge of its first official European trophy has this Romanista on edge of his red and yellow couch
Since trading my sports writer’s hat for a fan’s banner upon retiring to Rome eight years ago, I’ve waited patiently for my adopted team, A.S. Roma, to achieve greatness. Wednesday night it can earn its first official European trophy in its 95-year history. I attended last week’s media day in preparation for Wednesday Conference League final in Tirana, Albana, against Feyenoord of Holland.
The world is traveling again and during these last two years Covid has kept us mostly tied at home I’ve reflected a lot about my travels. Over 44 years of traveling the globe, I’ve learned a few things, from how to budget to how to be alone. Here are the 10 lessons I learned from traveling the world. Hopefully, when you set out again you’ll learn the same.
Ukraine War hits home in Rome where 200 volunteers help Santa Sofia church send tons of supplies to Ukraine
Before, the Ukraine War, Italy had 234,000 Ukraines, the third most in Europe. Since the war began, it has taken in more 110,000 Ukrainian refugees. Rome’s Santa Sofia Church has organized a supply chain in which up to 200 volunteers have collected supplies and sent them to war victims in Ukraine. I visited with Father Marco Semehen, who has family still in Ukraine, about the operation.
Sardinia is best known for its beautiful beaches and chic Italian summer clientele. But its capital of Cagliari has so much to offer. From a lively central piazza to a clifftop neighborhood overlooking the city to a cuisine unique to Italy, Cagliari is well worth a trip on its own. We went this past weekend to celebrate our seventh anniversary and it turns out the city was having its biggest celebration of the year: the Festa di Sant’Efisio.
I spent Rome’s birthday Thursday at two press conferences unveiling high-tech shows that seemed odd in such an ancient city. The Synesthesia is an 8-foot-high orb that is designed to help us understand our relationship with machines which are creeping ever too close to our daily lives. Rome’s Planetario reopened after an eight-year refit with “Return to the Stars,” an hour-long film and light show in the theater’s 300-square-meter screen on the round roof. The day was one part weird and two parts revealing.
Before I moved to Rome, Greece was my favorite country. Every island has its own history, terrain, vibe. So how does one choose which island to visit? Guest blogger James Ritter helps you decide which of the Greek Islands to choose with capsules of some of my favorites.
Rural Molise: The century-long exodus continues but three quaint villages retain their historic charm
Molise is the least-visited region in Italy. Now imagine going to rural Molise. We spent a day visiting three villages in the tiny mountainous region along the Adriatic Sea. All three have historical importance and one has a direct connection to one of the most famous American actors in movie history.
If you’ve never heard of Molise, don’t worry. Few have. It’s by far the least-touristed of Italy’s 20 regions, getting only 482,000 visitors in pre-Covid 2018. It’s 55 percent mountains and the rest is mostly rural. It’s not set up for tourists. But for the adventurous — and the hungry — it’s a terrific place to discover another side of Italy. The countryside is beautiful and the food and wine are unique and excellent. It was a great birthday present to myself.