Floral Masterpieces for an October Papal Welcome

September 9, 2013

Excitement peaking in Assisi for Pope Francis' arrival on October 4th for the Feast of St. Francis - and each day, the Umbrian newspapers leak news tidbits on the "surprises" under preparation for the Pope. One of the most splendid will be the floral petal carpet - infiorata - created by the floral artists of Spello and Cannara, two Umbrian medieval towns famed for the floral tapestries created each year for the Feast of Corpus Cristi (xosty days after Easter) read more...

Giuseppa’s Passione

June 27, 2013

During my Umbrian hilltown guided tours, I'm always pointing out examples of Italian passione; after all, if you don't get la passione, you don't get a hold on Italy. Examples are endless and many of the people we meet embody la passione. Giuseppa is one and her life revolves around her passions: for her son and two grandchildren, for her flowers, her vegetables, the animals she and farm husband Paolo raise and the farm goodness she cooks using their olive oil, wine, vegetables, herbs, fruits, and meats. read more

A Montefalco Highlight, Suor Giovanna

April 20, 2013

Montefalco, noted for its fine Sagrantino wines, loom-woven linen textiles and the stunning Museo of San Francesco, hides many a secret as well. Suor Giovanna is one. She remains - for me - a Montefalco highlight. An Augustinian nun and follower of St. Clare of Montefalco, 14th- century medieval saint, she lives in cloister in the convent attached to the Church of St. Clare. read more...

A Perugia Highlight: Umberto

April 16, 2013

Ah, Perugia, "city of the infinite view", as Henry James wrote. Pre-Roman Etruscan city gates, a stunning 13th-c. fountain, frescoed and wood-inlaid guild halls, a majestic medieval courthouse, a 15th-c Papal fortress, a stunning frescoed pastry shop and meandering picturesque backstreets all entice. And not only. Alot more to be discovered - if your wanders head you in the right direction. read more...