Author Jhumpa Lahiri reading in the Roman Forum

Last week, I went to see an author whose work I admire read in the Roman Forum. The American author Jhumpa Lahiri is in Rome as the 2013 Writer in Residence at John Cabot University. I saw her introduce the reading with Italian author Francesca Marciano, where she she spoke about her love of Rome and the…

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A conversation with writer Francesca Marciano

An English-language university here in Rome hosts author nights, open to the public. Last year, I wrote about the fabulous Conversation with Joyce Carol Oates I attended. This year, I decided to attend a conversation and reading with the Italian author, Francesca Marciano. Ms Marciano was introduced by John Cabot University’s Writer in Residence, Jhumpa…

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Hoping to spot John Wayne at Monument Valley

You really can’t blame me. John Wayne, the actor best known for his westerns may have died in 1979, but anyone who visits this impressive landscape that served as the natural set design for his films can’t help but wonder if they’ll catch a glimpse of him thundering by on his horse past these these…

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Abdicating the papacy in literature

When, on 11 February, Pope Benedict XVI announced that he would be abdicating the papacy, a modest 13th century Italian monk became an unlikely feature bar in newspapers worldwide. That’s because, before Pope Benedict’s surprising news,  the last Pope to have resigned from his office was Pope Celestine V, way back in 1294. Pope Celestine’s…

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Time to sign up for the Matera Women’s Fiction Festival

As some of you may know, for the past two years I’ve attended the Women’s Fiction Festival held each September in the beautiful town of Matera, in Italy’s southern region of Basilicata. The festival is a great way to learn about the publishing industry today, how the environment is changing and what writers should do…

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Exploring Napoleon’s Empire: Elba – Part 2

Last week I wrote a post about what to see and do on the interesting Tuscan island of Elba, including a visit to the home of the island’s short-lived Emperor, Napoleon Bonaparte. This week I’ll continue with some places of interest to help you plan your Elba trip. Capolivieri: This Tuscan hill town has pretty views to…

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