It’s Good Friday: Do You Know Where Your Sepulchres Are?

On Holy Thursday and Good Friday in Italy, it is tradition to visit the Holy Sepulchre of Jesus, but not just one… many! Usually, the magic number is seven – but as any old Italian lady will tell you, as long as it’s an odd number, you’re OK. (Yes, there’s a veneer of pagan superstition […]

When you Wear a Coat in Summer… The Palio of Siena and the Double Victory of the Lupa!

Something rare and wonderful happened in Siena the other day: the Contrada della Lupa (the neighborhood of the she-wolf) won the Palio. Only, what’s better than winning the Palio? Winning the Palio twice in one summer! That is called cappotto, or winter coat. And it is highly unusual. But bring together a fabulous horse called […]

A Midsummer Night’s Wild Dream

Collisioni – that’s what this mega-festival in the tiny hamlet of Barolo is called. And collide you do! With people, with ideas, with tastes, with energy. Talk about bringing things together. I’d heard about Collisioni for years. I’d viewed their over-stuffed programs with skepticism: how could they lure Elton John, Sting, Mark Knopfler to this […]