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Italy is a fascinating country, but an infuriating one as well. As someone who has now spent more than half of her life here, much of which was spent working as a foreign correspondent and later as a reporter for an Italian newspaper, I feel that I know the country inside and out. The purpose of this blog, which I set up to accompany the book of the same name I wrote in 2013, is to report and comment on facts, events, proposals and even rumors. I hope you enjoy it.

Absenteeism and other bad behavior by Italian civil servants costs Italy millions

From time to time in Italy, an event leads the press, the politicians and, to a lesser degree, public opinion, to run wild over this or that issue. Generally, this interest runs its course and ends more often than not in “un bel niente”, nothing. It will be interesting to see if this is what […]

Italy on track to end status as Western Europe’s odd-man out

The Italian parliament is scheduled to vote late this month week on the country’s first comprehensive bill to legitimize civil unions for co-habitating couples and will be the first law here to allow same-sex couples to enjoy full civil rights, although no provision is made for same-sex marriage per say. Proposed and written by Monica […]

Tourism in Rome (or rather, Lazio) hit record highs in 2015

Tourism in general is going to have a rough time in coming months (possibly years?) as people become increasingly frightened by the spectre of terrorism and prefer (not me) to stay home rather than to travel. But in the meantime, Rome has been holding its own and, indeed, basking in the glory of knowing that […]

A city unprepared. Even for bird droppings.

The last time it snowed sort of heavily in Rome was in February 2012 and for weeks afterwards Romans, who love to complain about whomever it is who is governing them (or trying to? or pretending to?), were carrying on about how the city was unprepared and didn’t have proper snow equipment. This was ridiculous. […]

Rome under attack……..from starlings.

While many Romans worry if and when their city will be attacked by ISIS fanatics, the immediate concern for many is whether their clothes or cars will be ruined by the massive onslaught of guano or bird droppings that for the last two months has been raining down on parts of the Italian capital. Every […]

Living in a foreign land: My Home Sweet Rome at the Anglo-American Bookstore

I will be talking about my book, “My Home Sweet Rome”  and about the pleasures and problems of living in a foreign land this Friday, November 27, at 18:00 at the Anglo-American Bookstore in Via delle Vite 103 in downown Rome. Come one, come all, and in the meantime HAPPY THANKSGIVING to all my fellow […]

Rome left rudderless on eve of Holy Year (or not)

Well, Rome is now in a pretty pickle. Just four weeks from now, on December 8, the Jubilee or Holy Year (the year-long Vatican-sponsored celebration that many of us residents are dreading) is to begin and Rome, the Eternal City, is without a mayor. True, there is now a prefect – actually two prefects – […]

Trevi restored, thanks to the Fendi fashion house

If this seems like a plug for Fendi then so be it. The Italian leather and clothing fashion house spent $2.2 million dollars to pay for the restoration of Rome’s magnificent baroque Trevi Fountain. Restoration work began in June, 2014 and was concluded three days ago on November 3, when water from the  ancient Aqua […]

Alberto Sordi’s Rome mansion to become a museum.

Alberto Sordi was one of Italy’s greatest actors and comedians, many of whose iconic roles have passed into posterity as testimony to the problems and conquests of postwar Italy and, even more particularly, as commentaries on the character of 20th century Romans. Sordi,, who never married and had no children, died in 2003 at the […]

As Giubileo looms, Rome trying to get ready

With only three months to go before the onset of a special Roman Catholic Jubilee of Holy Year, the city of Rome appears (the appropriate word is “appears”) to be rushing to finalize plans to help deal with the traffic problems that inevitably will ensue from the expected arrival of an estimated 25 to 33 […]

If it weren’t so serious, it would be downright funny. Here we are in the Italian capital – the  capital!!!!  – and somehow the family of a deceased criminal is allowed to hold a mega-funeral in the Italian capital, blocking streets and causing public transport in the eastern Romanina neighborhood to be re-routed, with a […]

Roman numerals to go? Let’s not exaggerate

The Rome city government last week reportedly decided to conform to a 2014 decision by the Italian Statistics Agency (ISTAT) that all street signs in the country have to be written in the same way and, in particular, without using Roman numerals. Hence a lead story in the Rome section of the Messaggero newspaper saying […]