HANDS ON Those Italians in Brooklyn (Mar 14, 2013)

March 18, 2013

The students at St. Joseph's College in Brooklyn are now ready for their Italy trip this summer: whether or not they can speak Italian, they're now ready to communicate with the people. They'll use their hands. Art professor Jane Beckwith, their tour leader, has done a numero uno job of orienting her students to Italy, the art, the people: their enthusiasm was palpable at my talk at the college, for Italy-bound students and their parents. Mille grazie, Jane, for such a wonderful gathering and all your organizational work prior. Thanks, too, for welcoming Anton, Ken and Theresa - enthusiastic non-students who'd asked to join in. read more...

U.S. Tour, 2012: Communication, Connections, and Putting in the Soul

April 3, 2012

If there was any central theme to the 2012 U.S. tour (my fourteenth annual winter tour!), it had to be "communication". Above all, through cooking - but not only: in Denver, I shared "Memoirs of Rural Life" with over 400 persons through my Power-pointed lecture. Another lecture in Denver, "Italians, HANDS ON!", encouraged participants to communicate with Italian gestures. A few Italian gestures also slipped into my Umbrian rural cuisine cooking classes in private homes from Los Angeles to Washington, DC. Read more...

2012 U.S Tour: Cooking IS Communicating

January 11, 2012

I've been offering cooking lesssons of Umbrian rural cuisine in private homes since 1998 - when Cathleen from San Anselmo invited me to bring Umbria's flavors into her kitchen. I've never yet had a stated U.S Tour "theme" but I think that I will this year: "Cooking IS Communicating." read more...

GRAN FINALE to the 2011 U.S. Tour

April 18, 2011

My stay in the Washington, D.C. area was a perfect wrap-up to a memorable 7-week (almost!) coast-to-coast U.S. cooking lessons/lectures tour. It synthesized what my annual U.S. tour is about: connecting with family, old friends and former tour guests via my lectures or cooking classes of Umbrian rural cuisine. In the D.C area, five superb cooking classes were the gran finale: such an interesting variety of people involved in stimulating and interesting work (consider the area!). I learned much in conversation with many of them while cooking... read more...

Scheggino to MIT: a Long Reach (Mar 11, 2011)

March 21, 2011

Che strano! What an odd sensation to connect with Ginny at MIT: we had first met in a bucolic setting in Italy, in Scheggino, a tiny mountainside village on the Nera River in Umbria's breathtaking Val Nerina. Ginny, host of my mid-March talk at MIT, had participated in the Berkshire Choral Festival group musical week in Umbria last September... read more...

Italians, HANDS ON

January 29, 2011

What are the common denominators of Italians? For me, there are five: certainly their sense of family along with a flair of interpersonal relationships - and who would argue about their lack of faith in institutions, both Church and State? Another Italian attribute: optimism, ability to resist trauma, resiliency.L'arte di arrangiarsi (best translated as "creative inventiveness") is simply inborn in all Italians. Last, but certainly not least of all, is their innate aesthetic sense, evident in all aspects of Italian lifestyles... read more...

Lecturing at MIT on March 11, 2011!

January 19, 2011

Plans have just been finalized for me to lecture at Boston's MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology). Needless to say I am very honored to be asked and excited at the idea of lecturing at such a prestigious venue. My lecture will be "The Italians - HANDS ON!". read more...