Search Results for: Culture

We were in Italy during the US election of 2008, so we voted absentee. As Americans, we felt that we had lost ground in many ways around the world, so were ready for change. In addition, time was running out as the issues of Global Warming marched on. We read “Flat, Hot, and Crowded,” by […]


There’s nothing like a Tuscan scavenger hunt. Saturday’s goal was to unearth some of the relics of the ancient Florentine past, buried in the middle of the bustling 21st century life. We headed northwest from Florence into the challenging sea of modern development. Calenzano was our destination, and we were in search of her historic […]


This is a very strange story indeed. However, I swear on a stack of French Bibles from the 1600s that it’s absolutely true. I also know that I would have much more credibility if Cheryl had been with me on this outing, but that’s just not the way it happened. Please hear me out!


Illusion is a distortion of the senses. The brain picks up visual cues that are recognizable, instantly fitting them into familiar patterns. In a flash, it issues a report about what’s going on. The brain fills in the blanks. Normally, we “believe” what we see. However, sometimes we’re reminded that our brain isn’t infallable and […]


Early spring in Italy: this year our friend Stefano, an expert in the world of plants and trees, taught me the time-honored art of pruning olive trees. What’s the big deal?, you might ask. Well, actually, we’re talking about the heART of the Tuscan culture, and not just a simple snip, snip, snip, and you’re […]


California has a reputation. It’s laid back, casual. Beachy. Of course, those of us in northern CA are not beachy, but tell someone that you’re from CA and immediately they say, “Oh, perpetual summer. Beaches. Bay Watch.” In fact, California’s reputation can lead some to think that whatever happens in CA is “lite.”  But we […]


In the Ligurian town of Rapallo, along the northern coast of Italy, three brothers are making a name for themselves and their restaurant.. They attract a diverse crowd at their popular place called K2—but that’s only the beginning. More than a mere meal, what really happens behind the driving beat, the flashing big screens, the […]


A quarter cup a day keeps the doctor away! That’s the adage that our friend Giacomo‘s father lives by and he’s in his nineties. A quarter cup of what, you ask? OLIVE OIL. Signor’ Martini actually drinks it—in addition to what he typically drizzles over every meal, every day of his life. In ancient Greece, […]


We like to play a little game called Follow That Thread. It’s really simple and great fun because we never quite know where things are going. It’s also good exercise for slowing down, paying attention and trusting the process. It leads to the most curious things, but to make it work, judgment has to be […]