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I Puffi

Or, How I Fell in Love with the Kilogram Scale I burst out laughing when I saw that the Italians call “Smurfs” “Puffi”. Or, to take the grammar to its proper usage. A “smurf” would be a “puffo.”  Or, “puffa” (feminine). It became the leitmotif of my culinary – how you say – overindulgences.  You can magine my joy when ...

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Fathers Day

I have decided to take full advantage of Easter in Roma. I do not usually travel to la Bella città this time of the year. And, as with all my vacations, I generally don’t choose the dates for any other reason than “it’s been long enough without a break, pick some dates from the calendar”. Which is how I unintentionally ended up in Rome ...

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Everywhere You Look

I cannot believe it has taken me this long to visit Lake Como. I guess I thought it was only for the elites. Certainly, it has a rich history of being the relaxing playground of the rich. But, Varenna – where I am staying — has its own history. Once a fishing town, its only catch now is a nice ...

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Still Moving

I am on vacation and I have yet to stop moving.  24 hours door to door with a 7-hour layover in Bruxelles – turns out there is a cost to a $500 round trip to and from Roma. Oh, did I mention, I had a center seat to BRU and no seat – in fact I was standby from Brussels ...

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An Afternoon with Signora Maria

Visiting the cugini in Bologna, I had two missions: to enjoy the company of family, and to get my very own Signora Maria! Anyone who calls Signora Maria a terra cotta figure has clearly not met this delightful, whimsical character. Her creator is Anna Tazzari, an exquisitely talented artist in Bagnacavallo (outside Bologna).   My first exposure to Signora Maria was ...

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Little Tiles of Ravenna

What a lovely little Italian town is Ravenna. My Italian friends say “oh, che belli mosaici!!” (pronounced moh-ZAI-ih-chee). And yes, the mosaics here are unbelievably beautiful.  The little tiles of Ravenna are abundant and extant. Colorful and glimmering – golden little chips festooning the ceilings, the walls. Beautiful, indeed. Ravenna has it – and it knows it. You can buy a pass ...

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On the Street

Hear Ye! Hear Ye!  The latest in street performers in Rome. What are these people looking at?         This is a street performer unlike any I have ever seen on the street. Perhaps this pediatric attraction has been around for awhile, but not in my experience.  I happened upon little big blue baby while heading for my ...

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Hurry Up and Wait

I have often said, the Italy of my dreams is the Centro Storico.  Not necessarily the real Italy. Here I am smack dab in the middle of the train station in Milan. Just one of the Great Unwashed. Oh yeah: fair Italy — where is the goddam romance now.  The plan seemed pretty solid. To fly into Milan at a ...

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Riding the Rails

I admit, I have a romantic view of riding trains. Perhaps because the paternal grandfather I never met was a train man, or the fact that Dad would seek out some vintage train on an unused track and take my brother and me on a Choo-Choo train ride (old whistle and all), or that my father would take his daily ...

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Winter Wondering-Land

The Mohonk Mountain House invites you to enjoy the icy solitude of frozen trails traversed only with snow shoes and skis. ┬áThe sun startingly clear and nighttime silent. The Mohonk Mountain House outside of New Paltz, New York is one of my favorite getaway destinations. It is a resort built on Quaker principles of quiet and recreation – in one ...

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