Reason #5385 to love Rome: The Turtle Fountain

Rome’s Fontana delle tartarughe – the Turtle Fountain – is a beloved landmark in central Rome. Located on Piazza Mattei, in the neighborhood known as the Ghetto (for those of you wondering, this is where the name came from), it was built 1580-1588, during the Renaissance, by the architect/sculptor team of Giacomo della Porta and Taddeo…

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Drink too much coffee when you write? Don’t feel bad…

For those writers who may guzzle a bit more coffee than they should during the writing process – don’t be too hard on yourself. After all, writers often seem to be a strange bunch and this excellent post in the Writers write blog entitled 58 Famous Writers and their addictions is required reading. From Byron’s obsession with…

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An evening stroll in Caserta vecchia

I recently traveled down to visit the spectacular Reggia di Caserta, just outside of Naples in Italy’s Campagna region. You can see my earlier post about the splendid gardens that surround the former Bourbon family palace. Following that visit and before the drive back, we decided to stop off for an evening stroll in Caserta…

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Take pride in what you wrote – because you wrote it

“The stories weren’t brilliant. But I wrote them, I began and ended them.” -Joy Williams Love this sentiment from Joy Williams, an American novelist and short story writer I admit I didn’t know when I read this quote. I like this idea of taking pride in your work – not just your best work, but…

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Save time for Orvieto’s Etruscan Museum

There’s so much to see when you’re visiting the medieval Umbrian town of Orvieto, that you may forget to stop by the Fondazione Museo Claudio Faina, but that would be  a mistake. This museum, which houses both the collection of the Faina Counts and Orvieto’s civic collection, is most impressive for its Etruscan objects –…

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The art and joy of creation

“It’s the most exciting moment when you discover life in what you’ve created.” Mario Vargas Llosa Thoughtful words from Peruvian/Spanish author Mario Vargas Llosa, whose works I’ve long admired. I believe most authors would agree with this sage observation. After all, many of us spend an inordinate amount of time living ‘in our own heads’…

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Surviving the Atlantis, Bahamas

It’s that time of year again – February – when the days are cold and dark and I start to daydream about warm destinations visited in the past. This year is no different, and I find myself thinking back to the warm, crystal clear waters and soft white beaches of the Bahamas, someplace I traveled…

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Book review: Fractured

I greatly enjoyed Fractured, a novel by Catherine McKenzie. I understand the author prefers to give one-word titles to her novels, but perhaps, if she would consider sub-titles, Ode to city living might be appropriate. Although the book was a psychological thriller, it was the fear of ever finding myself within such a meddling, invasive suburb…

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