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Writing Places & Bagni di Lucca, Italy

Bagni di Lucca, Italy, on the Lima River in Tuscany (Photo Credit: By Keith Ruffles, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=53034692) Six years ago this week, I...
Margaret Fuller Neighborhood House, Cambridgeport, Massachusetts. Fuller lived her during her early years.

Margaret Fuller: Writing and Social Activism in Massachusetts and Italy

Margaret Fuller Neighborhood House, Cambridgeport, Massachusetts. Fuller lived here during her early years. Fireflies, Fourth of July, fireworks, family reunions--the month has flown by--with lots of U.S. memories-in-the-making for me....
Tilar J. Mazzeo's bestselling story of Irena Sendler's work with Polish children in Warsaw's ghetto during Hitler's regime

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,...

After Pasqua and Pasquetta . . . Liberation Day

Pasquetta--one Italian spring tradition I wish we could import to the US--blurs sometimes into another holiday, Liberation Day. Pasquetta, or “Little Easter” (since Easter is...

Utopian and Dystopian Visions: Sicily and Engaging Italy

Monte Argentario, off the coast of southern Tuscany Emeralds in a sea of sapphire—gems among gemstones—to a romantic dreamer. To those...

A Sicilian Memoir: Simeti’s On Persephone’s Island

Mandarins and pears at an open market in Sicily. Photo: Andrew Malone , Wikimedia Commons via Flickr Mary Taylor Simeti’s memoir of...

A Past January Inauguration Day in Sicily Spurs Hope for Future

Gray skies above Catania, Sicily, in January A few years back--twelve, to be exact--I was adjusting to an unfamiliar climate and...

Riding the Winter Waves: Reading for Health 

Elizabeth Blackwell writing on happiness in 1845 Here’s the second part to a post from just after Thanksgiving 2020, “Riding the Holiday...

Coincidence or Signs? Waldensians in the News

Twice in less than 24 hours—actually, within about 12 hours—I received notice from two friends* of two recent but very different news stories about the...

Riding the Holiday Waves: Writing for Health

Hello, friends. How have the first of the holidays been for you? Have the emotions of 2020's elections and COVID caused these past few days...

The Past Hauntingly Repeats Itself? National Elections of 1844

George Perkins Marsh portrait engraving by H. B. Hall, reprinted in Life & Letters (1888)  Title Page of Life & Letters...

Coffee Passions: One of These Things is Not Like the Other

Double espresso and breakfast cookie in Rome Cappuccino from Starbucks, small One afternoon this week my desk...

Food Memories: Utopian Visions?

I missed June's blog. I'm making up for it by referring here to a short blog that appeared elsewhere last month. I wrote "Koulourakia Cravings"...

Cancelled!

As Italy crawls back to life, many of us mourn the loss of trips planned and cancelled. This week-after-semester's-end at the university often finds me...

A Privileged Perspective: On Escaping A Stricken Field

Cover of 1940 edition of Martha Gellhorn's A Stricken Field In January, reading Anne Boyd Rioux’s review essay of Martha Gellhorn’s...