Biblioteca Nazionale

A place that you love can become a dear old friend.  The relationship matures over time and, when you are apart, the absence is never far from your mind.  I first entered the Biblioteca Nazionale with a level of unsurpassed and irrational fear.  I was a 25 year old Ph.D. student, but I stood like …

Porca Miseria

You know that you are in Italy on election day when it is punctuated by finding the perfect winter artichokes.  Upon proudly presenting their photo as a still-life on Instagram, I noted slyly that I would rather talk about carciofi.  It had been a long election cycle and, as a historian, I was weary of …

Castagna

I once bought chestnuts in The States.  Overpriced little piles of those that had been rejected by the Italians had made their way begrudgingly to Whole Foods.  Their armor was seemingly impenetrable.  They were as invincible as an armadillo (no matter how many videos on YouTube seemed to suggest otherwise).  They offered a few bitter …