Daily Bailey Alexander No. 6 Peaceful pilgrimage

Hello and buongiorno, are you ready for your Daily Bailey Alexander? I hope so, there’s so little time and so many stories to share, like the time I stood in line for 12 hours to see John Paul II lying in State. I wasn’t even religious, but this was one of the most popular and beloved Popes, history’s most well traveled and first non-Italian to hold the title of Bishop since the 16th century.  

The year was 2005 and I’d been living in Rome for a couple of years, in Trastevere, just minutes from the epicenter…

Daily Bailey Alexander No 5: Slow Food

Excerpt from the video: The Slow Food Movement has become a world wide phenomenon yet it began here in Piemonte, where they take it so seriously you can attend a University for the  gastronomic Sciences in the town of Bra, where the movement was born. This is where their headquarters remain, where they create international research and education for those working on renewing farming methods, protecting biodiversity and building an organic relationship between gastronomy and agricultural science. 

Daily Bailey Alexander No 4 All Saint’s Day

Excerpt from the video: It’s November 1st, All Saint’s Day and soon to be All soul’s Day; let’s take a tour of the cemeteries of Europe and spend some time at Steglieno, in Genoa, the largest open air museum and monumental cemetery in Europe, perhaps the most gorgeous of them all. Achingly beautiful, haunting, magical statues that wind along avenues for days…it’s time to visit cemeteries, it’s time to meditate on the cycles of life and death

Daily Bailey Alexander No. 3 Winter

From Paradise to Prison and Back Again

Excerpt from the video: Piemonte has so many seasons, far more than just 4. There’s a season for cutting the wood and carving large pencils for the vineyards, planting saffron and artichokes,  a season for planting my roses, pruning them, picking them, a season for nature walks with Anna Fila Robattino, famous for knowing everything about herbs. Then a season for planting my own in my backyard.

There’s a season for swimming laps and taking advantage of the hot Italian sun, then the weather cools down, for hunting truffles and wild boar, then it’s time to harvest the grapes, or what the Italians call the vendemmia, then the time arrives for white pigeons to visit with cryptic messages, or vigilantes  to bravely take away the odd hornet nest, but winter truly takes place when it’s time to uncover a live tree for Christmas, then hang the noodle angels, and white lights, before replanting the live tree back outside…

Daily Bailey Alexander No. 2 Magic

Excerpt from the video: “Why did I end up in Piemonte?” Well, when Gore Vidal was asked ‘Why Rome?’ He thought Howard Hughes had it right, “How did a long nailed recluse end up in a sealed hotel room?” Hughes simply replied, “I just sort of drifted into it. “

Here’s what I do know,  Piemonte is a magical place; it even has its own magical valley called Val di Susa near the gorgeous city of Turin, Italy’s former capital, known for its famous black and white magic. In Val di Susa you’ll find Sacra di San Michele with its spectacular views, flying buttresses and dramatic stairs,.

Mysteriously, or magically, you’ll also find a straight line in between Ireland and Israel uniting the seven monasteries relating to Archangel St. Michael. Seven sanctuaries, so far apart, yet perfectly aligned. 

Keep Ithaka always in your mind

As you set out for Ithaka

hope the voyage is a long one,
full of adventure, full of discovery.
Laistrygonians and Cyclops,
angry Poseidon—don’t be afraid of them:
you’ll never find things like that on your way
as long as you keep your thoughts raised high,
as long as a rare excitement
stirs your spirit and your body.
Laistrygonians and Cyclops,
wild Poseidon—you won’t encounter them
unless you bring them along inside your soul,
unless your soul sets them up in front of you.

Hope the voyage is a long one.
May there be many a summer morning when,
with what pleasure, what joy,
you come into harbors seen for the first time;
may you stop at Phoenician trading stations
to buy fine things,
mother of pearl and coral, amber and ebony,
sensual perfume of every kind—
as many sensual perfumes as you can;
and may you visit many Egyptian cities
to gather stores of knowledge from their scholars.

Keep Ithaka always in your mind.
Arriving there is what you are destined for.
But do not hurry the journey at all.
Better if it lasts for years,
so you are old by the time you reach the island,
wealthy with all you have gained on the way,
not expecting Ithaka to make you rich.

Ithaka gave you the marvelous journey.
Without her you would not have set out.
She has nothing left to give you now.

And if you find her poor, Ithaka won’t have fooled you.
Wise as you will have become, so full of experience,
you will have understood by then what these Ithakas mean