Category Archives: Life in Italy

Dalla Maria, Best Overall


I’ll have the tagliatelle with beans, please.

If you’ve made it to Pesaro, you are in the land of good eating. In the old town you will eat well at Zongo, Pasqualon, La Guercia, and Il Moletto. Venture out of town, to Il Sentiero, for example, or to Gennaro, and you will experience both extraordinary natural beauty and culinary excellence. Continue reading

The Enjoy Agenda


I’m not feeling so good

A couple Sundays ago we spent the afternoon in the emergency room in Santarcangelo di Romagna.  We went to Santarcangelo because it was a sunny day in April. We went because it’s the beginning of pea season.  We went because we thought we might shop around a little and then have lunch.

We were in this store and my wife was looking at sweaters and I was trying on a pair of pants in a changing room in the back when I heard her say, Oh. Continue reading

Say What?


Learning Italian in Italy

When you learn a foreign language, it’s difficult not to despair at first. How do you know which words you’ll need? One of the first sentences I learned in French was a question. Where is the library? In hindsight, I now know it would have been more practical to learn Where is the bathroom? A pal in high school taking German impressed me at lunch one day with a complete sentence. When I asked him what he said, he smiled and translated: How many fingers has Anne? Continue reading

Death by GPS

murlo from above

He had been delivered to us by GPS.

“We could go for vespers,” my wife said.

It was late afternoon. We were leaving Murlo, which I have to say was something of a disappointment. Somewhere along the road in Tuscany we’d seen a billboard or two for Murlo, with its iconic cowboy image. And somewhere along the road in Tuscany we’d talked to someone, probably in a wine bar, who told us about it: Murlo, town of the Tuscan cowboys. I said it sounded like a football team. Continue reading

Bite Down


I’ve never had a toothache in Italy.

“We could stop and get one on the way back,” my wife says. We’re lying in bed, both of us awake at 3:00 a.m.

She’s thinking about cake.

In particular, about certosino, a dense almond and pine nut and dark chocolate cake that’s covered with candied fruits and slathered over with honey, a seasonal delicacy you find in Bologna around Christmas time. It’s late November. In five days we’re flying back to the U.S., but first we’re going up to Venice for a night, which we will reach by train, with stopovers in Bologna.

“We could get one on the layover,” she says. “Coming home from Venice.”

“Let’s see,” I say, “a layover in Bologna, a cab ride from the train station to Tamburini. It’s tempting.” But… Continue reading

Bean, Fagiolino, Haricot Vert


Why do green beans in Italy taste so good?

I’ve been feeling lonesome for green beans since we got home from Italy.

Early Tuesday mornings over there, in the piazza just up the street from our building, Marco Stanchini sets up his fruit and vegetable stand. He’s open for business until noon. By the time I get there around 8:00 a.m., the old ladies, some with husbands in tow, are busy bagging their produce. Continue reading