My Kind of Fourth

ROME, LAZIO, ITALY – A year ago I was in Rome, and had completely forgotten about the upcoming 4th of July holiday until a friend of mine back in the USA reminded me of it about a week prior to the day (no one in Italy had any idea it was approaching, naturally). Although it…

A Flower and Two Smiles

UBUD, BALI, INDONESIA – Life in Ubud was easy. I would wake in the late morning and take my notebook out to the table on my balcony, where I would write as I waited for Ketut to come up and inquire about what I wanted for breakfast. A hot thermos of tea was always kept…

Via Condotti

ROME, LAZIO, ITALY – Strolling through Via Condotti is an experience in itself, unique in Rome. The main street leading up to and away from Piazza di Spagna, it is lined with shops sporting the most impressive brand names: Prada, Dior, Hermes, Fendi, any others you could possibly imagine. It is crowded and busy. It…

Sultanahmet

SULTANAHMET, ISTANBUL, TURKEY – I am taking this opportunity to post, of course, about a city I have lived in and loved in and which is continuing to struggle along with the rest of its country. I was taken by surprise when first I visited Istanbul. I imagined that I would be impressed by the…

Santa Maria in Trastevere

ROME, LAZIO, ITALY – While in Rome during the summer of 2012 I was on a mission to seek out her most ancient churches, interested especially in those which would have held witness to the city through the 10th century A.D. Santa Maria in Trastevere definitely qualified, with a groundbreaking of 340 A.D. – one…

Civita di Bagnoregio

CIVITA DI BAGNOREGIO, VITERBO, ITALY – After an extended weekend bouncing between the lesser known hill towns in Tuscany, we headed back to Rome pleasantly exhausted. My friend turned to me and said, “There is one more stop we have to make.” I groaned. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to visit another hill town…

Piazza di Spagna

ROME, LAZIO, ITALY – Before I had ever visited Rome, I was confused by the appeal of what we know in English as the Spanish Steps. The widest staircase in Europe, these steps lead from the Piazza di Spagna up to Chiesa Trinità dei Monti, a beautiful white church with a very simple but very…