Tag Archives: Culture

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 … Continue reading

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Changing the World One Door at a Time

We turned around and saw one for the first time. It was outside the coffee bar, just across the narrow street in Fiesole. On the sportello (little door) that covers the gas meter was a painting of a street scene—specifically, … Continue reading

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Monk: man of the cloth? or man of the cough?

Oh, the monastic life! Italy is filled with monasteries. Some are still functioning, some are museums and some are experiencing “adaptive reuse.” But no matter what the religious order, the dedicated souls that makes up each community seem to have … Continue reading

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The Great Wall of Lucca

China isn’t the only country that built walls. Italy certainly crafted a few of their own over the centuries. However, there is one very special wall around the old center of Lucca in Tuscany, that might even win first place … Continue reading

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Window on the World

So here’s the situation: In our Italian neck of the woods, there is a law than permits only a certain number of windows per room. Yes, that’s right. Apparently, the practice started years ago when farmers didn’t want so many … Continue reading

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Gentle Giant

Don Quixote might mistake the windmill called Mulino a Vento as a “giant,” standing on top of the ridge, with arms outstretched over the valley below, ready to do battle with any approaching foe. It surely must be a giant, … Continue reading

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The Renaissance Ring

Imagine a hiking trail 100 miles long with no particular destination. Sound strange? What if you could actually see the focus of your wanderings, yet never arrive there? What if the trail encircled the most magnificent symbol of the Italian … Continue reading

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