When We Went Hither–and what we swore

“Don’t even think about it,” Tizi said. We were walking down to the local market the other day, a two-mile round trip on foot. It was a bright morning in October, perfectly autumnal. I was telling her about a professor of mine who used to say au-TOOM-nal, a pronunciation I liked and tried on for…More

On Wine Tasting and the Limits of Winespeak–from Get Thee to a Bakery

  “You taste wine the same way I do,” the guy pouring says.  “We all have the same equipment: nose, mouth, tongue, palate.      Technically, yes.  And it’s very nice of him to say that.      It’s my last day in Sonoma. I’ve had a head cold all week, so none of my “equipment” has…More

Wherefore Oodles–gobs and gobs

An oodle sounds a lot like a Monty Python character. You can imagine John Cleese dressed up as a woman, saying, “Hello, my name is Ann Oodle. I am an expert on snakes.” Funny thing about oodle. It’s one of those words in English that has no singular. Think trousers, butterfingers, hijinks, spartypants, gadzooks. I’ve…More

Subtracting the Negatives–Orvieto caves and a focus on feet

We have a new server at Nud e Crud, one of our favorite restaurants in Rimini. Tizi and I form attachments to servers. Dido at Passatore, Valentina at Marianna, Luccio in San Gregorio, Sergio at La Rivetta. We’re more than consumers passing through, paying for a product and service. We’re regulars now. The food, the…More

Mastery of Mystery–ashes, old friends, and the faith

We arrive in San Marino on Ash Wednesday afternoon. To get here we’ve traveled all night and through most of this day. We unload bags, turn on the water, and raise the heat in the apartment. Tizi makes a bed. We pull sheets off a couple chairs so we have a seat in the morning.…More

And Now the Letter H–hamburger with an Italian accent

Today I discovered Hamerica.  Make that Hamerica’s. It’s a chain restaurant in Italy “dove vivi l’esperienza degli States e provi i migliori hamburger fatti in Italia con un gusto completamente americano.”  Best hamburger in Italy, they boast. Just like being in the States. Walking through Rimini this morning, we passed what used to be Picnic…More

What’s Not to Love–rare books and earthly love by night

When pleasures take you by surprise, they are so much sweeter. Last night we attended a lecture in the rare book room at the Oliveriani Museum in Pesaro. I was not prepared to enjoy it so much. Not one but two notable art history scholars spoke. The discourse was learned, the vocabulary was specialized, and…More