All Things Italy April 2022 April is the Cruelest Month? 

Whew! What a month it’s been! This bouquet of flowers captures one of April’s surprising bright spots, which have punctuated periods of stress. T. S. Eliot’s oft-quoted line, “April is the cruelest month,” often has come to mind. The proverbial April showers added to the gloom, but more troubling have been eye issues, as yet…

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All Things Italy March 2022

Dear Friends:  I’ve finally done it. I’ve booked my first flight to Italy since before Covid shut down the airlines three years ago. The deed is done and the departure day draws nearer by the week. Yet I face the future with some fear and trepidation as well as excitement.  Russia’s war on Ukraine is,…

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All Things Italy February 2022

La Fine di Febbraio . . . Finalmente! Dear Friends: The end of February is upon us, and that brings three things to my mind. First, March and spring are just around the corner! Second, its Carnevale time in Italy. And third, the SUNY Press 50% off sale on Engaging Italy pre-orders is ending soon.…

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Good News about Engaging Italy! Hey, friends. Happy Friday! Surely as we head into Super Bowl and Valentine’s Day weekend you can find a reason to be happy?   I have a big reason to be happy here, and so this message. It is not my typical newsletter or blog, but I received great news…

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All Things Italy January 2022

Dear Friends:  It’s that time in late January when many of us lose our late-December aspirations for the New Year. How are your resolutions holding up as we slouch toward February? What more can we do in these winter months than make and fail at resolutions? How may we successfully move through them? Many of us…

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All Things Italy December 2021

Dear Friends: I am a little later than I had planned in writing to you. It’s that time of year, you know? Schedules sometimes go out the window . . . when we get a message from a childhood friend, or a family member needs a call.  But here we are–together on your screen. I…

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All Things Italy Fall 2021

  Dear friends, Here we are, deep into autumn, past Halloween and approaching Thanksgiving. I missed October in writing to you, and here’s why:  I have been swamped with writing deadlines, presentations, and travel. It’s all been good, but exhausting. Whew! I returned home a week ago, grateful for a stretch ahead with less pressure…

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Writing Places & Bagni di Lucca, Italy

Six years ago this week, I was in one of my favorite Italian towns—Bagni di Lucca. I’ve written about this spot in Tuscany before. It’s nestled high above the often-visited town of Lucca, in a mountain valley formed by the Lima River and, below it, the larger Serchio. Known since the Roman era for the…

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All Things Italy Summer 2021

Hello, friends and fellow travelers. It’s been two years since I’ve been in Italy—two long years—and I’m definitely feeling withdrawal. But pictures, memories, and my imagination help. A friend and fellow traveler of my last group trip said it well last week, “I so appreciate your pictures. I so want to think about going back,…

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Margaret Fuller: Writing and Social Activism in Massachusetts and Italy

Fireflies, Fourth of July, fireworks, family reunions–the month has flown by–with lots of U.S. memories-in-the-making for me. Meanwhile, I have had little time to think about “All Things Italy.” Earlier in the month, however, a trip to Boston brought Italy immediately to mind. And it wasn’t Boston’s North End, known for its Italian heritage and eateries. The trip was for the American Literature Association conference, where I participated in Margaret Fuller Society events. The…

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All Things Italy Spring / Summer 2021

Hello, friends and fellow travelers!  Thanks for joining me in this second issue of “All Things Italy.” Primarily, my goals are to update you on the progress of my book projects and associated talks, to share a few thoughts about works I’ve read (and films I’ve seen), and to provide a few tips on travels to Italy. Here I pull together some of…

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Mothers Without Borders: A Tribute to Surrogacy

Today I’m thinking of all those who “mother” — beyond those who have born biological children. Think Mother Teresa, for example, or Mother Ann Lee, the founder of the Shakers, known for their communal living and celibacy in the 18th and 19th centuries. Consider also the works of Irena Sendler, biologically childless, but celebrated in…

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