Five weeks from today, our Italy: A Feast for Body and Soul pilgrimage will depart from JFK airport bound for Rome. The 40 of us will spend 13 days making our way from the beautiful spa town of Montecatini to Florence, Siena, Assisi, Rome, Naples, Salerno, the Amalfi Coast, Sorrento, Massa Lubrense (the small town where my grandfather was born), and finally to the Isle of Capri. I know how fast these next few weeks will go with start-of-school events and work deadlines to meet before leaving. It’s going to be here before I know it. Read more
In honor of the Feast of St. Benedict, I thought I would re-post my Time Union reflection on my trip to the Monastery of St. Benedict in Subiaco, Italy, four years ago.
With a breathtaking valley stretching out below and an ancient monastery clinging to the cliffs above, Subiaco, Italy, feels as though it is a world away from the chaotic streets of Rome, only 40 miles to its west. And, in a sense, it is.
Steeped in history that stretches back to the Roman Empire and the earliest centuries of the Roman Catholic Church, Subiaco is a place out of time, giving visitors a chance to step into the very same cloisters, caves and gardens that were once home to ancient saints and medieval monks. Read more
Thanks to the thoughtfulness of my husband and the wonder of iMessage (free texts between Apple devices), I have been traipsing around Rome for the past few days. The journey has felt so real I’m expecting a blister on my foot at any moment. Throughout Dennis’ weeklong trip to Rome, he has kept me in the Italian loop almost every step of the way. Literally. (And I don’t take that whole “literally” thing lightly, trust me.) Read more
It’s hard to believe that in just about six months we’ll be departing for Rome on our 13-day food-faith pilgrimage, Italy: A Feast for Body and Soul. Since I last updated you, we’ve had an exciting development. In addition to a great group of people from throughout the New York-New Jersey region, with a few from more far-flung places, we will also have a priest traveling with us. My good friend Msgr. William Benwell, vicar general of the Diocese of Metuchen, N.J., has signed up as a pilgrimage participant but has agreed to say Mass every day for those who would like to attend. In addition, his knowledge of Siena, Assisi, and Rome is like getting an added spiritual bonus. We are blessed to have him coming along with us. Read more
So you’re going to Italy and you want to know how to order a coffee. Okay, well, first things first. If you ask for coffee, “un caffé,” you will get an espresso. It will be “short” and dark and may have a lovely golden rim around it. If you want something more akin to what you drink at home, you could ask or caffé americano or caffé lungo, and they’ll water down your espresso, but why would you want to do that? Caffé macchiato is an espresso “stained” with a little milk. Read more
If you’re planning to join us in Italy this fall for the Feast for Body and Soul food-faith pilgrimage, start paging through books on Italian travel now. It will make the trip seem that much closer, and you’ll find lots of fun facts that will prove helpful when you’re actually wandering the streets of Florence or Rome or Sorrento (pictured here) or any of the other cities we’ll visit (Montecatini Terme, Siena, Assisi, Naples, Salerno, Amalfi Coast, Sorrento, Massa Lubrense, and the Isle of Capri). Read more
My most recent Life Lines column, running in the current issue of Catholic New York, will give you a glimpse into the surprising way my food-faith pilgrimage to Italy came to be and how you can get on board:
One day a few months back, I opened my email inbox to find a message from a travel agent asking if I’d be “willing” to lead a food and faith pilgrimage through Italy in October 2014. After staring at the email open-mouthed for what must have been a good five minutes, I turned the laptop to Dennis and said, “Do you think this is for real?” I couldn’t imagine that my dream of going back to Italy— not just to Rome this time but for a cross-country trek—might be on the verge of coming true. Read more
One year from now we will be just back from the most amazing pilgrimage, a 13-day food and faith tour of Italy that will take us from Montecatini, Florence, Siena, and Assisi to Rome, Naples, Salerno, Sorrento, and the Isle of Capri. There’s still plenty of time to save up some money and vacation days and join us for a wonderful weaving of spirituality, sightseeing, and one fabulous meal and hotel after another. You can find the full itinerary HERE. Read more
Dear Fellow Adventurer,
For most of my adult life, I dreamed of going to Italy. I wanted to pray in St. Peter’s Basilica. I wanted to know the country of my grandfather’s birth. I wanted to eat the delicious food that had inspired so many family meals when I was growing up. Three years ago, when I stepped onto the streets of Rome for the first time, I cried from the sheer joy of being there, and I knew right then that I’d have to return some day soon. Italy had captured my heart! Read more