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This is Thirty – Naples is the Artist’s Palette

Florence is a masterpiece from the bristles of the artist’s brush each tower and turret perfectly placed the canvas mapped-out by a master each color bold and brazen as if it was dreamt up in the mind and brought to life only to be set behind glass framed up on the...

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This is Thirty – Out the Train Window Florence to Naples

We're on the train now. Traveling at high speeds - 300kph or 186mph - we're flying down the country. If we drove, the trip would take four to six hours without traffic. To fly it's a little over three hours in the air - and that's without boarding and deboarding. On...

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This is Thirty – Huyler’s for a Soda

In August of 1943, my great-grandmother went to see  “Deanna Durbin” in Her’s to Hold.” (It was very good, she said, if you were wondering). Then she walked up Tremont Street to meet what I can only assume is her mother (called Nannie) and had a soda at Huyler's. That...

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This is Thirty – Naples

At thirty years old I have been married for almost five years. Our anniversary is on the 16th not because I dreamt of getting married under the inferno of the Tuscan sun, but because it was one out of two dates we could choose after our paperwork was all filed...

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This is Thirty – No Sitting on the Spanish Steps

The last time I was sitting on the Spanish Steps in Rome it was about midnight, and Rami and I were at the top of them eating gelato with almost no one else around. A few people passed by, but we had the place, the view, the steps, almost to ourselves. After so many...

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This is Thirty – I’ll Call Dud. He’ll Tell You.

I was standing in the kitchen by the sink looking at my feet. My father was sitting at the table across the room, at that point definitely getting frustrated, because for the previous half-hour (at least) I had been attempting to swallow an aspirin for the first time....

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This is Thirty – The Arts

If the computer calculated it right, I think this is day 245 of this blog, and honestly at this point, I feel like I'm forgetting what I've written about, and coming up with new ideas isn't as easy as it seems - especially when I'm not doing much for inspiration on a...

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This is Thirty – The Hottest Summer On Record

If I don't watch the news she says everything seems ok  maybe it isn't that bad she says maybe the world isn't burning   but for the reindeer the world is ending and for the polar bears it's already dead and they didn't watch the news     But we don't live where the...

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This is Thirty – Bad Luck Monday & Tuesday

My computer decided it hates me on Monday. The charger finally gave up - waved a white flag of broken plastic and refused to function. No green light, nevermind orange, no matter how hard I persuaded it, and as my computer dropped down under ten percent, I tried to...

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This is Thirty – A Year Later

Last summer, my cousin Brian was here with a friend for a wedding so we planned to meet. I biked into the center for dinner with Stitch, and we ate at one of the restaurants I recently put on my article for TimeOut on restaurants in Florence (just if you ever needed...

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This is Thirty – Will She Remember?

Tonight I took Luna to the park and we walked in the shadows away from the lamps, away from the friends having picnics on the grass, away from the couples snuggling on the benches, away from the kids kicking the soccer ball around on the gravel. The family was sitting...

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This is Thirty – When the Bottle Runs Dry

The news trickles through the grapevine from the fields to the cities. The heat is killing the crop this year. The grapes are struggling without much rain. The harvest will come and the crop will be reaped, but the taste of the new wine out of the bottles this fall...

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This is Thirty – Random Memories

I don't know why it popped into my head last night. I think it was a scene in the movie we were watching or a mention of some other trigger word that started the film reel in my head, but suddenly I was in Danbury, New Hampshire, and I was as half as tall as I am now....

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This is Thirty – Lunch at FICO Eataly World

On our way up to the tower, we had to cross the Apennines, but since a few years ago a new tunnel makes the trip up to Bologna faster. We decided to check out FICO  - Eataly's answer to an amusement park and the focus, of course, is food. FICO is an acronym in Italian...

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This is Thirty – The Cow Barn

The next day we were up and out as early as the sun. We sat at the big table, which may have been made from an old wine cask and perched on two old easels, and sipped our coffee as the day began and the shadows got shorter. The tower was an enormous sundial. After a...

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This is Thirty – Tower House Treasures

The doors opened and we stepped into the kitchen. The sun streamed in behind us - the little windows not doing much to brighten up the place - but it was cool and it was safe - the tower wasn't built for relaxing getaways, it was for protection - windows would've just...

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This is Thirty – Tower House Gombola

We turned off the highway by Modena and followed the river, and then started to climb the switchback roads up into an area we haven't been before. The Apennine mountain range runs the length of Italy - a jagged zipper on the boot that cuts the country in half - from...

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This is Thirty – Away Again

We were away again. We escaped the incessant heat of the city and drove up into the mountains. Instead of a computer, I felt paper under my hands for the past few days. I wrote in the sun surrounded by birds and rustling trees. I wrote in the shade of a tower built...

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This is Thirty – Roberto Benigni

Johnny Stecchino is on TV. For those of you that don't know, Johnny Stecchino is an Italian movie starring Roberto Benigni, my favorite Italian actor that most would know from another of his movies, La Vita è Bella, or Life Is Beautiful, about the little boy and his...

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