The Marco Chronicles stirs memories

The Marco Chronicles

What a pleasure it was for an Italophile like me to read The Marco Chronicles: To Rome, without Love, written by my friend Elizabeth Geoghegan. I don't know which delighted me more, finding out what a talented writer Elizabeth is or taking a trip down memory lane by remembering my own encounters with several Stefanos during my two-year stint in Italy. … [Read more...]

Eat Pray Love: Take Two

Count me among the over six million people to buy Elizabeth Gilbert's Eat Pray Love. And count me among the many who didn't finish the  New York Times bestseller. My gold Oleg Cassini bookmark is right where I left it three years ago. On page 72. It would seem that I, of all people, would be able to relate to Liz's story for I too had moved to Italy on a quest. But unlike Liz, who embarked on a "search for everything" after her marriage failed, I went to eat, drink and pray for love. And she, … [Read more...]

How I (Never) Met Your Mother

I know some of you envy me for being able to enjoy a six-week holiday in Europe but at times it was torture. It’s like finding the ideal mate and knowing you only have a limited amount of time together. When I told friends I was going to Italy for a month, they wondered if I’d return. Well, sadly I did. I’m back in L.A., though more determined than ever to find a way to become an ex-pat once again. Walking down cobblestone streets in Rome’s Trastevere section or through Tropea's narrow … [Read more...]

Is it time to meet his mama?

Just as Layne and I were complaining vehemently about Tropea men not knowing how to properly treat women, we go out Saturday night and meet due fratelli (two brothers) who show us a good time and can teach these men around here a thing or two.   We met them at a restaurant when Paolo fell innamorato (in love) with me at first sight. Seriously. He couldn’t take his eyes off of me the entire time. Eventually his group, which included his fun brother Giampiero and a quieter friend, Carlo, joined me … [Read more...]

It’s always wine o’clock in Italy

Day One in Tropea is drawing near an end and it’s been an experience. We’ve drunk too much wine, been mistaken for being the wives of senior citizens from Florida and discovered n’ duja. Right now Layne and I should be enjoying dinner at some restaurant owned by the family of a guy who runs one of the Italian language schools in town. Layne, whose Italian is pretty impressive, begins one-on-one Italian lessons in the morning and I think I’ll take a week-long intensive course in a couple of … [Read more...]

To the back of the bus

I am not a bus girl. I realized this a few hours ago when I began the seven-hour bus journey on which I’ve now found myself.  But I am a poor girl on a six-week European holiday and that’s why I find myself on a bus typing this post. How have I gone from flying first class on a lie flat bed on Swiss Airlines, drinking champagne while wearing comfy pajamas supplied from the carrier, to squatting over a stinky toilet at an Agip on the side of a highway in who knows where Italy? Because the bus … [Read more...]

Well, when in Rome…

Why was not I surprised to see the headline, "Tuscan city bans ethnic eateries, fast food," over the top of a recent AP story on USA Today's website? The city in question is Lucca. Not exactly Rome, Florence or Venice but a big draw because of its native son Puccini, whose operas I adore. I spent a day in Lucca once and was amazed at how quiet it was inside its historic medieval center. I mean no one made a sound. Now I think there was a ban against speaking. According to the story: Officials … [Read more...]