Uno Strumento di Pace

An Instrument of Peace This post is dedicated to longtime reader Bonnie, who recently asked me to publish the entire Simple Prayer for Peace by St. Francis in Italian. “One of the ways I study Italian is by learning prayers,” she shared, which reminded me of how much I enjoy that method of learning as…

Snapshots from Florence: The Ponte Vecchio

Il Ponte Vecchio “Water under the bridge” is a common English saying. In Italian one would say acqua passata non macina più, literally translated as water gone no longer roils. Regardless the language, the water under this famous bridge is the river Arno, which it has spanned for centuries. The Ponte Vecchio is one of my…

12 Things You May Not Know About The Last Supper

There were exactly two things I knew for sure about the Last Supper: 1. It was painted by Leonardo da Vinci. 2. It was somewhere in Milan. (Clearly, I’m not an art historian.) This capolavoro (masterpiece) had long been on my wish list of Things to See in Italy, but mostly just to check it off the…

Of Masterpieces and Mysticism

In the Presence of The Last Supper Traffic was still light on this Friday summer morning in Milan, and after just a few quick turns our taxi came to a stop on lively Corso Magenta. “Questa è la chiesa di Santa Maria delle Grazie? Con Il Cenacolo?” (Is this the Santa Maria delle Grazie church? With…

7 Reasons to Love Italian

We study Italian because we want to, not because we need to. Because the music of the language moves us to learn it, to engage in this “impracticality”, to throw some of our precious time to the wind and do something simple for the pleasure of being able to pronounce words like piacere. –From “Why…