Browsing by Category: Culture

alex's place

When I was assigned to write a profile of Istanbul’s cocktail culture and its foremost figure, Alex Waldman, over a year ago, the city was utterly different than it is today. Before the Gezi Park Protests, a piece pontificating on the virtues of nigella seed syrup and lamenting the dearth of Sherry in Turkey had its place. But in (more…)

Temple University Craft Beer Club

On February 17 from 7-9:30PM, join me at Alla Spina in Philadelphia for a casual tasting dedicated to the world of Italian craft beer. I will be co-hosting the event with the Temple University Craft Beer Enthusiasts. I have chosen the menu to reflect the styles and brewers which best represent quality production in Italy. We’ll (more…)

Pepe-Luciano 1
Photo: Luciano Furia

Pizza is never just pizza. There is history, culture and politics woven into its glutinous strands. And in Caiazzo, a once-declining village in Campania’s Alto Casertano sub-region 50 km from Naples, pizza is life. The deity in this analogy is Franco Pepe, a tall, lean vision in white widely recognized as Italy’s (hence (more…)

st-peter-cupola

Pick up this weekend’s NYT for a look at the annual Where to Go list, which includes my contribution, the Vatican. In April, Papa Francesco will canonize JP2 and John XXIII and the Vatican is anticipating record pilgrim attendance. The only way to navigate the crowds is with a guide. I have officially retired from doing Vatican tours–the sheer number of people they let through the Vatican Museums is criminal and I won’t be a part of it–but I highly recommend the services of my brilliant colleagues at Context Travel and Understanding Rome.

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Gelato, long associated with hot Roman summers, has become a year-round treat in the Italian capital’s all-natural shops. The city’s artisans turn to savory flavors, often paired with alcohol, to entice customers. More in this weekend’s New York Times.