Here on Lake Garda, the lighting is beautiful and I’m still surrounded by the German accent. Soon, they will all leave their ‘second homes’ and go back to Germany but today, before they vote in their next leader it’s very much in the air as to who will win the German Federal Election. Merkel is […]
Once upon a time novels influenced societies and boxers ruled the world. I remember when my mother talked about my father and unleashed a secret, and then she told me how my father won the Golden Gloves Boxing championship in the 50’s. Muv said, “That was the height of cool back then,” and once upon […]
Fauci: “Italy has become an example for the whole world” Me: “I know, a strong sense of solidarity and social conscious does help, not to mention being a country full of hypochondriacs.” Providing leadership in our modern era; makes me feel awfully proud of Italy.
…but I bet Italy will be the first country to make vaccinations mandatory for all. We have our anti-vaxxers, who doesn’t…and yes, we’re living in a new world… yet I don’t think Italy ever had a problem leading it…
When I moved to Piemonte I wanted to enjoy all 4 seasons but there’s so many of them here- and now, the season to pick the grapes – Vendemmia 2012. All very exciting. Perhaps when I pour myself a glass of chilled white wine tonight I’ll think about Santa Rosa where I was born – […]
…so I post a selfie from last fall. Visiting the resting place of Maestro Sergei Diaghilev on Isola di San Michele in Venice; La Serenissima. The ballet dancers always leave their shoes…. Italy never ceases to amaze…
Nicolas Gentile, a 37-year-old Italian pastry chef, did not just want to pretend to be a hobbit – he wanted to live like one. First, he bought a piece of land in the countryside of Bucchianico, near the town of Chieti in Abruzzo, where he and his wife started building their personal Shire from JRR Tolkien’s […]
… making healthcare a human right. Leading the world, from Rome, the Eternal City, and heart of Western Civilization.
‘A Couple of Europhiles’ welcome Victor Janusz to play a few tunes and tell a lot of touching and funny stories.
We like to focus on Europe and politics but every now and then we stray and today – it’s all about the music. (Links available below) For your listening pleasure we welcome Seattle’s Premier Piano Man – Victor Janusz – including a few of his most romantic, jazzy and playful tunes. Through funny and touching […]
Like Desert Island Discs, only better; stories from NY to Seattle. Celebrating a 40 year passion for the arts – Seattle’s Piano Man and song writer – Victor Janusz. https://victorjanuszband.hearnow.com/a-song-to-love
Yesterday. What a day. Not only the death of reproductive rights for women but the passage of draconian voter suppression laws – on the same day – in Texas. Typical. Parts of New York were under water due to flash floods. New Jersey was hit by a tornado. Ida didn’t just crush Louisiana, it reminded […]
To read and listen to this constant coverage on Afghanistan is stunning. I don’t recall this type of attention when we invaded the country 20 years ago. I understand it’s newsworthy, surely, and creates clickbait, certainly. And people can’t help but engage in the blame game but I wonder if this is partially due to […]
Piemonte is a fairytale. That’s why my next book is called, “Once upon a Time in Loazzolo; Tales of Piemonte” There is still magic left in their untouched land. I’ve interviewed 12 Piemontese and their stories are full of charm, and healers, shaman and witches – people still very much attached to their land. There […]
Thank you Victor Janusz, the great piano man from Seattle – what a lovely, feisty and funny review of “A European Odyssey”
MINI-REVIEW. “European Odyssey: How A Boxer’s Daughter Found Grace” by Bailey Alexander . More info: http://www.baileyalexander.com (Disclaimer: I met the author 30 years ago in Seattle, both of us steeped in the entrepreneurial spirit, we helped each other at many turns– her endless forays, which the book covers early on, and she joined my Seattle […]
Tribe: a social division in a traditional society consisting of families or communities linked by social, economic, religious, or blood ties, with a common culture and dialect, typically having a recognized leader. I’ve been using the word tribe since I arrived in Europe to help describe a nomadic life. People in each city were so […]
Italy’s hoping to have nearly 100% of population vaxxed by end of September. We have the suppy – and – a country full of socially conscious souls, and probably enough hypochondriacs to make it happen. Sure, there’s a few hiding underneath their bed or their brains, but there’s hope. Especially when you consider where Italy […]
Once upon a time there was a guy that abused women and now we have the first female Governor in New York. Cuomo was a hero, once upon a time, when there was a leadership vacuum during peak pandemic. And now he is a hero no more. The women rose up and slayed the dragon. […]
They all have a happy ending and they are charming. What a Herculean feat! Selected and retold by one of the country’s greatest literary icons, “this collection stands with the finest folktale collections anywhere” (The New York Times Book Review). Evil and kind Queens, peasants, saints and serpents, all getting lost in the forest and […]
Did the Greeks just tell us they were alright? I hope so, and hard to know. They said it felt apocalyptic. It was 55C in Athens the other day and fires were surrounding the cradle of civilization. Let’s hope we find a solution… and in the meantime, exhale…
Once upon a time, Bill Gates Sr, the father, wanted my father, Blair, to teach him how to fly-fish. My Dad was known for his fly-fishing technique as well as tying some of the best flies to lure in those fish. Blair was also known as one of the nicest guys around. He was good […]
Gore Vidal was America’s biographer, prescient for 6 decades – his four favorite words were “I told you so” – -wouldn’t he be gloating now and how….
It’s why I treasure this photo. There’s Muv, to the left, maybe off to the Fairmont Hotel for drinks before seeing Judy Garland or Frank Sinatra. Muv loved attending live concerts and shared her experience of seeing Garland from the front row…she said you could just feel the entire audience in tears, and not the […]
Why am I not surprised – Piemonte has vending machines with fresh salad and the finest beef – so typical
Vending machines like this one aren’t so common but vending machines selling milk, very. I remember seeing them in Switzerland about a decade ago and of course, France – in Italy, everywhere. Allowing the farmer to cut out the middle brokers, allowing ‘cow to consumer’ – in this, they are not unique. And it makes […]
Amazing how such a small place can loom so large – without Limone we wouldn’t have landed in Loazzolo.
A day in Limone is a day well spent – time never feels wasted here. In the morning I gather lavender and a white rose from our garden here in Loazzolo and wrap it in a white ribbon. In two hours I’m placing it at the grave of a my husband’s grandfather, located next to […]
Alors, it appears Macron has backed down a bit with lesser fines, etc. The French being the French and their love of protest. I remember living there, and loving it, and cycling around town with Colette and Godot – please see above. Allora, Draghi, and this country full of artisans, hypochondriacs and socially conscious citizens, […]
‘A Couple of Europhiles’ cover EU politics; Merkel’s swan song, the Bavarians, the next Bundestag, Draghi, Macron – and Covid, of course.
On this episode I discuss with Francis the ‘changing of the guard’ in European politics. How Macron will crush Le Pen and Barnier’s role in centre right French politics. We cover Merkel’s Swan Song, her successors, the Bavarians and the next Bundestag elections in September. Then on to our favorite topic; Italy! How Draghi may […]
I’m not certain when, which day or year, but it did happen and just dawned on me the other day. For such a spontaneous person I can be slow; nice to know irony is not dead. I was in Riva del Garda when struck by this epiphany. I’d suspected it for some time, but now […]
Arrived in Riva yesterday, jumped on my bicycle and 5 minutes later this crazy storm errupted. I was at the piazza, parked my bike and ran into Cafe Italia. Surrounded by German tourists, I ordered a glass of white wine and watched. I’ve seen storms before, but this was dramatic, perhaps even unique. We have […]
Fotos: Colette and Godot in Rome Godot @Piazza del Popolo and The Pantheon Ponte Sant’Angelo
You can drink their famous Barbaresco wine in a church in the town of Barbaresco and if you’re feeling flush, eat fancy food at Antine’s Bistrot
I could argue Americans don’t like to argue or more specifically, don’t argue well. For instance, too quickly, they may start to scream. Or worse, become violent. They might even use a gun. They like guns. Apparently last week an Alabama state lawmaker named Vivian Davis Figures’ house was shot 23 times in an early […]
The Reading Season: Tom O’Neill spent 20 years investigating the Manson murders. Didion: it’s an impossible task.
If you were born in California, of a certain age, there’s a reference point to perpetually entice; the Manson Murders. It was the crime of the century. It was mayhem. The craziness of California in the late 60’s feels like the craziness of America right now. Such are the cycles of life and how one […]
They came to visit one summer, I hope they come again. They spent a day at our home, by the pool, then lined up on our tiled roof for a while. It felt serene, magical, almost like the fireflies that came last night and will stay as it heats up – until they take their […]
We have a couple of months until harvest time but everyone appears happy with how the weather is taking care of the grapes. Any good news sounds great these days. They say we’ll be able to take our masks off in public soon. Know hope….
To read Dorothy Parker is to feel sad, then glad her short stories are such rare jewels. She battled alcohol addiction and suffered so many suicide attempts – but those short stories are sublime. “Big Blonde” always stands out. And you will feel sad and that was Dorothy’s way. Always ‘living off the calls’, ‘trying […]
A little film about an extraordinary woman and her tiny food factory; a place where dreams come true.
Some stories are told through food. Soon, I’ll share the story of this extraordinary woman and her famous restaurant located in Cessole, Piemonte. It’s called Ristorante Madonna delle Neve. It’s known far and wide….and soon you’ll know about it too : ) For now, a little film about an amazing woman and the business she […]
I’m going to talk about the writer Dawn Powell, but please, don’t hesitate to read my book – if you like coffee, or miss travel, you’ll love it – it’s called A European Odyssey; How a boxer’s daughter found grace. In my book I take you everywhere, from Seattle, across Canada and all over Europe. […]
Muv’s picture of me, Positano, 2000
Roses from Italy, sketch by Muv, rug from Seattle and San Fran before that, – that Persian rug has been in the family for an awfully long time. Gertrude Stein, when asked if she was losing her roots after living in France for many years: “What good are roots is you can’t take them with […]
At night, the lights are magical. Not quite as surreal as the fireflies, but close. During the day I do my laps, religiously, surrounded by the goddesses and Jesus and Buddha. Surrounded by the Sacred and the Profane. It’s not heated like the pools I grew up swimming in, on our block, in my youth. […]
If you read my book, and you really should, A European Odyssey; How a boxer’s daughter found grace, I take you on a fantastic tour around Europe. Where I treat each country like a personality. Rome reminds us about the mythic twins, Venice as the world’s most glamorous aunt, Paris the prettier sister, Prague the […]