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…)

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…)

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.


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…)

Pistachio marzipan from Meşhur Bebek Badem Ezmesi.

You can try to prepare for a food-focused trip to Istanbul, but the sheer variety of regional and ethnic cuisines available in Turkey’s cultural capital will overwhelm even the most seasoned visitor. One trip won’t be enough to crack the code, but you can transport the city’s flavors and textures back home to family and friends and share a small part of the big picture with loved ones. (Or just keep them for yourself.) For 13 tips on what to bring back, check out my latest for Bon Appétit.