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...

Pope Francis, Anticipating His Assisi Visit

September 6, 2013

Assisi is in euphoria over the arrival here of Pope Francis on October 4th for la Festa di San Francesco. Hotels have been sold out for months and the Assisians' anticipation is palpable. We're not yet sure about the day's itinerary but Umbrian newspapers - and national ones - drop tidbits of enticing speculation now and then. We know that Papa Francesco has responded "si" to the invitation of all at the Istituto Serafico - housing over one hundred severely-handicapped children and youth - to drop in for a visit. read more...

Tuscany Byways

September 5, 2013

Tuscany borders our Umbria on the north and on the west and now and then, we head off (by car... View article

Pig to Prosciutto

September 5, 2013

Few tomatoes remain in our garden, the grapes are in and as the days grow colder, we head towards olive-gathering... View article

Zsa-zsa’s Story

August 6, 2013

Sorting through old photos recently and came across this one… which brought back so many memories of our years (late... View article

Truffle Reminisces

July 17, 2013

I was at Ristorante Da Giovannino down the road the other day, listening to appassionati truffle hunters, Severino and Italo, talking about when they'd finally find truffles this year. Deluging spring rains and unseasonal cold weather in May and June have set the season back. The truffle - an underground fungus - needs moisture but it also need warmth. Italo predicts that he'll find summer black truffles after the moon changes on July 8th. read more

Flowering Broom Brings Back Memories

June 27, 2013

Splashes of bright yellow broom intrude now on the deep greens of the woods, the silver greens of the olive trees of our Umbria, "Italy's green heart." The fragrant broom flowers highlight the floral festivals of our region, their petals adding to the chromatic majesty of Spello's infiorate and Assisi's floral tapestries, too. 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