What a delightful summer morning! Our sweet little “Sesame Street” town, Fiesole, is tucked into the hills just above Florence. Since it was the last day of July, the first question we usually ask is: when will the shop/bar owners close for the grand summer shutdown? (more…)
The Eyes Have It
Legends are made of high drama. Some have a smattering of gruesome details. We find both in the story of Santa Lucia (Saint Lucy).
As the patron saint of Sicily’s ancient city of Syracuse, Santa Lucia’s image is scattered around the city. We didn’t think much of it until we spotted the strangest delicacy in a window of the local pasticceria, pastry shop: eyeball cookies. (more…)
Lost and Found
“St. Anthony, St. Anthony, please come down
Something is lost and can’t be found”
We have a great friend, Zia. We’ve worked with her for years on various projects, and whenever we needed something that seemed to be lost, she recited this little prayer to Saint Anthony. Miraculously, it always seemed to work. Once, in fact, she located something missing in our own home because Saint Anthony told her it was on a specific shelf in the dining room cabinet. I thought it was an unlikely place, but Em encourage me to immediately go home to check it out anyway—and there it was, just like Zia said. Or just like Saint Anthony said. That experience made us believers, even though we’ve rarely used the prayer since . . . except for one particular day in France! (more…)
On the Saint James Way
On a brisk, cool Saturday morning in September, we set out on our trek through the French countryside. From Rue de Saint Jacques in the town of Le Puy-en-Velay to Conques, toward Toulouse, the trail known as the GR 65, wends its way through some of the prettiest French villages in the country. Within minutes, we were on the pilgrims’ footpath, leading to Santiago, Spain, which overlooks the Atlantic Ocean. But we weren’t going that far . . . not even close . . . not this time. Our plan was to cover only a little over 200 kilometers (125 miles) in 10 days. Next year, perhaps we’ll walk another section. We’ll see. Our conclusion is that those medieval pilgrims were some pretty tough cookies indeed! (more…)
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! (more…)
Patron Saint Who?
Wednesday July 6th was the Feast Day in Fiesole where everyone celebrated Saint Romulus—the patron saint of that beautiful Italian hill town. Here’s how that day went down from my perspective: (more…)