Remember way back in kindergarten when we had those learning exercises and had to circle the shape, object or animal that didn’t belong? For example, there would be a row of four animals, three bunnies and one duck and you were meant to circle the duck. Well, my time here has made me realize that I am [...]
It nourished a young Raffaello and seduced Michelangelo. Supple and creamy, it is light enough to melt in your mouth and has a taste that leaves you satisfied only while you enjoy it, and yearning for more when it is gone. Raffaello ate it daily in his birthplace of Urbino and Michelangelo desired it so [...]
If the Catholic faith in the Virgin Mary is a heavy burden, it is because her weight requires the strength of 4 strapping men to carry her. That is, if she is a Renaissance painting being carried from one church to another…on a gravel road…uphill.
The Bishop of Urbino, Francesco Marinelli, invited my team and interpreter [...]
“Repenting your sins to some god is creepy to me.”
I looked across the cafeteria table at my professor trying to hide my surprise at hearing the conviction in her voice. She seemed so sure of her decision in rejecting the notion of a God from Who we ask forgiveness. Was she referring to the same [...]
Cinderella is Italian; I’m sure of it! What other woman would wear, much less run in, glass slippers?
The glittering high-heels that grace the feet of Italian women are just as delicate and, arguably, more precarious to walk in. Their shoes may not be made of glass, but these women walk up and down the steep, Roman [...]
The first time I “studied” abroad I was 6 and in the first grade. My parents had decided to move our family from San Juan Capistrano, California to Guadalajara, Mexico so that my dad could attend medical school while my mom stayed home with me and my 3-year-old sister, Amanda. Much to my mother’s chagrin, [...]
Getting to Urbino was no small task.
Tuscan Italians are welcoming, friendly and seemingly purposefully unhelpful when it comes to providing directions. A conversation I had my first morning in Siena illustrates this Tuscan characteristic. I had asked the front desk manager at the little hotel I was staying at for some help in getting [...]
One of my favorite things to do with American visitors when I lived in Barcelona was to take them to the butcher shop. “Oh, let’s get some nice Manchego cheese at the carneceria,” I would say. Then I would open the door and walk in ahead of them so that I could see the expression [...]