“La Polentata” Brings Friends to the Table

Il Tribbio is a group of people in Spello who are dedicated to keeping the old traditions alive, and keeping the arts in Spello vibrant and thriving. They often have special events, such as the barbeque last spring that featured traditional herbs foraged from the mountain, used in both the pasta sauce and the . . . → Read More: “La Polentata” Brings Friends to the Table

“The Running of the Kids”

When I find myself passing the school near the dismissal time, at 1 p.m., I often just find a place to stand aside and start smiling. The parents and grandparents are there to pick up their kids, making a ring around the entrance or waiting at a table at Bar Tullia, just beside the . . . → Read More: “The Running of the Kids”

A Sunday Walkabout in Perugia Before Dinner

On a warm autumn Sunday evening, Paola and Leonardo invited me to come with them to Perugia to walk around town at sunset, just to get out and also so that they could show me some of the interesting places that were very familiar to them. Perugia was one of the original Etruscan cities, . . . → Read More: A Sunday Walkabout in Perugia Before Dinner

The Mother Superior is Laid to Rest

With a church and cloister that takes up an entire block, the “Convento delle Clarisse di Vallegloria” (also known as the “Order of the Poor Clares”) is an important presence in Spello. Saint Clare ran away from her family in Assisi to follow Saint Francis, and the Franciscan order that she founded in 1212 . . . → Read More: The Mother Superior is Laid to Rest

Not a Hunting Fan—Especially Not the Umbrian Way

Alessandro, the son of Signor Antonio and also my neighbor, is a hunter. This season he has already bagged 8 wild rabbits (“lepre”) and a pheasant, but his usual prey is small birds. Caged “bait birds” are used to lure wild migrating birds into shooting range, and I see the small bird cages frequently . . . → Read More: Not a Hunting Fan—Especially Not the Umbrian Way

Trekking, but NOT in Cinque Terre

Friends Pall and Birgit were in Spello in late August, staying in my house, and spent time with Paola and Leonardo while they were here. Part of their time together was spent convincing Paola and Leonardo to bring me and come to Cinque Terre for a visit. We picked dates in October that worked . . . → Read More: Trekking, but NOT in Cinque Terre

Squeezing in Time with Pat Hanna

My last trip to Florence was jam-packed. I arrived at 8:30 a.m. to shop at the Mercato Centrale and the San Lorenzo street market, then wandered around my old neighborhoods, greeting people I haven’t seen in a few months, and then headed out to the Sant’Ambrogio marketplace for some mozzarella di bufala from Salerno . . . → Read More: Squeezing in Time with Pat Hanna

Irmy’s High School—in a Historic Florentine Villa

As my Florence trip continued , I met up with my friend Irmy, whom I met in London in 2007. She was the site coordinator for a Study Abroad program there, and immediately adopted my friend, Barbara, and me, helping us cope with dozens other students less than twenty years of age (younger than . . . → Read More: Irmy’s High School—in a Historic Florentine Villa

A Day Trip to Florence, and a Visit with Anne

On October 3, I caught the 5 a.m. train from Spello to arrive in Florence early in the morning. I kept myself busy shopping until the early afternoon, when my friend Anne Boulamakis, her sister Kathleen (visiting from Hawaii) and Alain were back from some tests on Anne’s heart pump at a local hospital.

. . . → Read More: A Day Trip to Florence, and a Visit with Anne

I Primi d’Italia—An Annual Gastro-Extravaganza

This was the fourth year attending I Primi d’Italia here for me, a citywide festival in nearby Foligno featuring “i primi,” or first courses, that are representative of all regions of Italy. Instead of the packed streets that are the norm for evenings at Primi, Paola and Leonardo chose a Saturday afternoon trip to . . . → Read More: I Primi d’Italia—An Annual Gastro-Extravaganza