Restored fountains at famed intersection merit a visit

A couple of months late, I finally got to go downtown to gape at the recently restored and water-spewing Quattro Fontane, the four god (and goddesses) fountains sculpted at the end of the 16th century in niches at the four corners of the intersection between Rome’s Via XX Settembre and Via delle Quattro Fontane and […]

Trastevere travails

This morning while putting out today’s garbage – plastic, cans and glass –  on the street as required, I checked out the compost bin inside our building and yet once again found that someone had dumped a bag of unseparated garbage, ignoring the bilingual warnings not to discard anything there but food remains. No plastic. […]

The Metro C – a work (very, very slowly) in progress

  Well, I hope you all have a lot of patience (and a lot of lifetime left) because the latest reports say that the Coliseum metro station that will allow the new Rome subway C line (see the Green line above)  to bring people to the Roman Forums and to intersect with the older B […]

No smoking in Rome’s parks this summer. Right or wrong? Useful or not?

My favorite mayor, the generally-inept Ignazio Marino, may win kudos from environmentalists now that he has ordered anything involving fire – barbecues, firecrackers, explosives and now pipes, cigars and cigarettes – to be banned from all of Rome’s parks this summer. The barbecues were already off bounds last summer, as were fires set to burn […]

Are there any dress codes in Rome?

  Have a look around and the answer (a resounding “no) will become immediately clear. Some time ago, Romans, and many other Italians as well, decided to emulate us Americans and go casual, and they have done so with a vengeance, although men and women have chosen different routes (more about the ladies in a […]

Divorce, Italian Style, version 2015. New law significantly shortens waiting times.

When I first moved to Italy in 1972, divorce in a limited form – after three years of legal separation and obligatory attempts at reconciliation − had been introduced only two years prior. The influence of the Church was such that before 1970, unhappily-married  Italians could get a legal separation but could never get remarried. […]

Surprise! Pope says no to France’s allegedly homosexual ambassador

What was Francois Hollande thinking? Did the French president really think the Vatican was going to accredit a diplomat believed to be homosexual as France’s new ambassador to the Holy See? Pope Francis may be a reformer on some issues – I mean, it was downright incredible that earlier this year he told Filipino Catholics […]

The end of an era. A sad goodbye.

When I first moved into Piazza S. Egidio 14, years and years ago, the storefront downstairs was an old coffee-bar and a latteria, that is, a place where you could get fresh milk every day that was run by a slow-moving, grey-haired man named Umberto. It then became a more chic establishment named Il Mago […]

Say it in Italian, please

Italians (with the exception of Mussolini, perhaps) have never been chauvinists. Unlike the French, they have never tried to ban the use of foreign words, forcing people to call ordinataire what almost the entire world knows as a computer. But, says a small group of purists here, enough is enough. And they are right. Using […]

New Rome bus tickets now on sale

Starting March 1, the Italian transport company, ATAC, is making available three new types of city public transport tickets, those lasting 24, 48 and 72 hours. The usual BIT ticket (€1.5) that is valid for 100 minutes and the CIS (valid until midnight of the seventh day after being stamped has now been joined by […]