Nostalgia

As I arrange fragile Mediterranean deruta and beaming sunflowers around the tables, the Italian patterns and summer colors make my heart ache. Little time has past since arriving home, and I still haven’t processed everything that has happened. Today we’re preparing an Italian-themed summer cookout for sixty people, with a big U-sized table setting in the…

Casa

  Six months later and I see the same kitchen table, rooms and wall hangings, but every time I blink, I see the purplish-pink sunset over the bay and Castel dell’Ovo glowing in the golden light; I remember the colorful cliffs of apartments standing sentry and showing off from the hills; and I see the red-moon reflection in…

Ave Maria

Let out of work early on Sunday, I took one of my last walks from Via Chiaia to Via Tribunale, and I pass women bearing striking resemblance to Sofia Loren with their bronzed skin and tight necklines; I gaze upwards as blue buckets are hoisted to waiting men in windows, taking their goods and placing payment to be sent…

Home

There’s a rare breeze today, and with the smell of the sea and the heat of mid-July, it brings a reminder that this is my last week. I’m sitting in my dorm, watching street market sellers go about their normal Thursday doings, and my mind flashes back: to that one rainy night in early Padova when I met someone familiar…

Non c’è male

Before work, I always find something entertaining in the rush of morning Posillipo: shops opening; grandmothers shaking the nonexistent dust off rugs from their windows; and Neapolitan men with salt-and-pepper shoulder-length hair simultaneously sipping their scalding caffè, and rompendo le palle of their friends across the street. Today I saw a muscular, blonde, Zac-Efron-type swing onto his scooter…

Bostoniana

In the bus we pass characters: the woman with the 60’s cat-eye sunglasses and piled-on bleached hair, sitting at the same bus stop every day with her sunbathing Jack Russel Terrier whose name is probably Audrey; the old men with the beautifully tan and leathery faces, whose wrinkles remember both smiles and tears as their…

An American for a weekend

One of my favorite things is a city on an early summer morning, the warm dewy air holding its breath in an anacrusis before the day’s crescendo. We leave the dorm for the airport at 5:30 am and watch from the cab as the sun rises, the rosy pinks and blushing purples reflecting off the double peaks…

L’istituzione Napoletana

When I had my meeting at the Stazione back in March, I was offered an espresso. I declined, because despite having been in Italy for almost two months, I was still accustomed to my long coffee in the morning and basta. The lab director shook his head, took a sip from the fragrant cup and said,…