Author Archives: Natalie

Italian Presidential Guards: Flaunt It If You Got It

“The President is coming!” “Oh. How interesting.” To be fair, I was clearly told that the President was coming to the conference.  I assumed this meant the president of the university, or the president of some large company. I finally understood that my colleagues were trying to tell me the President of Italy was coming […]

I’d Like a Bottle of Wine, Please

Today, I managed an all-Italian purchase.  No English. No gesturing. Just straight up cake-ordering at the local pasticceria. Feeling emboldened with my mastery of simple vocabulary, I decided to venture into a funny wine shop I noticed open up across the street from the bakery.  I was buying the cake to bring to Thanksgiving dinner, […]

An American in Marrakech

One of the best things about living in Rome isn’t just being able to experience Rome itself, it’s the ability to get great deals on flights all over the world. This weekend, our destination of choice was Morocco. The cheap flights come with one condition: only a single piece of carryon baggage (under 10kg) allowed. […]

The Etruscan Philosopher

This carving is called The Philospher because he has large ears to listen with, but a very small mouth to limit how much he speaks. This sculpture is on the private property of an agriturismo in Pienza- Podere San Gregorio.  It was incredible to be in the private presence of something so ancient.  It felt […]

Flag Exhibit in Rome: Omaggio al Tricolore

Italy is currently celebrating the 150th anniversary of unification.  Part of the omaggio (homage/tribute) included asking 24 well-known Italian designers to re-conceptualize the Italian flag. The free exhibit, Omaggio al Tricolore is currently running at the Complesso del Vittoriano.  I took this photo of the flag flying on the steps of Piazza Venezia. Inside, it […]


In Italian, “cavolo” means “cabbage.” And man, did I see some serious cabbages in Tuscany.  But the funny thing is, you’ll hear young Romans saying “Cavolo!!” all the time, and I guarantee you that they are not talking about vegetables. Because it is so completely ridiculous to hear people yelling CABBAGE! all the time, “cavolo” […]