Month: October 2021

Ghouls, Goblins, and Church

Halloween has its origins in ancient Celtic traditions concerning the end of the year and the disposition of souls to the otherworld.  Eventually, the Catholic church got on board and moved their All Saints Day to November 1, making Halloween All Hallows Eve.  Then November 2 is All Souls...

Road Trip

We took a road trip recently to the Adriatic coast.  We’ve decided that now that things are somewhat settled for us, we should take an overnight trip about once a month.  We’d like to go to places we’ve never been, but since we’ve been traveling here for over 20...

Germans and Italians

Germans and Italians have a history.  Well, Germans and a lot of people have histories, but the one with Italy is complicated.  They’re neighbors, but completely different in their worldview.  They’re both European, but with very different sensibilities.  They both flirted with Fascism, then took very different path forward. ...

A Perfect Sunday

Late summer and fall are prime festa times in Italy.  This year, however, COVID has put an end to the festas.  It’s very sad for us, but I’m glad they’re taking things so seriously here.  Festas are celebrations, usually to mark the harvest of some crop or to honor...

The Tree of Life

Few things are as iconic of the Italian landscape as the cypress tree.  This is especially true in Tuscany, where you see them lining curving drives and punctuating even the most humble vistas.  Their neat, columnar shape make them ideal for wedging into a garden to provide vertical structure. ...

A Gift of Grapes

It’s grape harvest time here.  We’re really not in wine country, but everywhere you look you see rows of grapes.  We even have some in our backyard.  Ours are white grapes and are very sweet.  Almost like a muscadine. I don’t know grape varieties, but would like to learn...

Sunday in Florence

One of the absolute best things about living where we do is that we are less than two hours from Florence, one of the greatest cities in the world.  To finish up my birthday week, we decided to spend the day in Florence just because we could.  We had...

A Birthday on Two Continents

Birthdays roll around every year to remind us that as much as we don’t like to think so, we are getting older by the minute.  They provide us with the framework we need to mark time.  I can watch other people age, but I live my life not through...

Orvieto to Rome and Back Again

Tim and Julie just finished up their three week tour of Italy and we met up with them for the final few days.  They stayed with us a week, then they visited Florence and the Chianti country.  On their way back to Rome, they stayed several days in one...