Browsing by Category: Culture


Fresco of Moses and the Exodus, from the Dura Europos synagogue. Photo © Richard Beck.

This year, Passover begins at sundown on Friday, April 3 and ends the evening of Saturday, April 11. Bear in mind that first two days of Passover (from sundown of April 3 until nightfall two days later) are full-fledged, no-work-allowed holidays. The subsequent four days are Chol Hamoed, when work is allowed, albeit with restrictions. Chol Hamoed is followed by another two full no-work-allowed days. Expect many Jewish businesses to be closed for most of Pesach 5775. (more…)

Monte Testaccio 1

Join me for exclusive visits to Monte Testaccio, an archeological site that is generally closed to the public. Composed of fragments of tens of millions of ancient terracotta amphorae, the site is a fascinating trash heap which testifies to the Roman appetite for imported oils during the Empire. We will begin our visit with some background of Testaccio, an area that was a hub of commercial activity in antiquity and during the industrial revolution and still clings to those traditions as the area becomes ever more gentrified. We will explore the concepts of ancient commerce and modern industrialization as we hike up to the top of Monte Testaccio for views over the old slaughterhouse, the Testaccio district and Ostiense’s industrial ruins.

Dates: March 17, 2:30pm; April 21, 2:30pm; May 13, 11:00am; May 26, 9:30am; June 9, 9:30am.

Meeting point: Bar il Seme e La Foglia, Via Galvani 18 (Map).

Duration: The guided tour will last approximately 1.5 hours.

NB: Booking is obligatory and fees include a guided tour and admission fees. Wear comfortable shoes and bring a camera!

Monte Testaccio ShardMonte Testaccio PanoramaMonte Testaccio inscriptionMonte Testaccio Gazometro

cesare bergamini eel fisherman

Cesare and Alfredo Bergamini have been fishing for eels in the Tiber since 1947. Now 74 and 77, respectively, the brothers learned the profession from their grandfather. In post-war Rome, they shared the water with other eel fishermen–and a great deal more eels. But falling eel stock caused by pollution coupled with spiraling profitability due to collapsed demand has driven others away from the trade. (more…)

Rome
Illustration by Jen Kruch for PUNCH.

I am super excited/honored/elated to be a part of the new PUNCH city guides, which give the low down on where to drink wine, cocktails and craft beer in cities across the globe. Check out my Rome guide and London contributions, then poke around the PUNCH site for brilliant narrative journalism guided by Ten Speed Press and my supremely talented editors Talia Baiocchi (author of this magnificent modern guide to sherry) and Leslie Pariseau.

IMG_7494

Speeding down the A1, the Italian traffic artery playfully dubbed “The Motorway of the Sun”, we exited at Santa Maria Capua Vetere, slowing our pace to navigate the series of increasingly curvy roads that led to our destination, Agriturismo Le Campestre, an agriturismo buried deep inside Campania’s Alto Casertano (more…)