Looking back from up in the air, By Ilana

Back when I was busily planning our sabbatical, I spent some time reading the blogs of other families that had taken similar trips. I returned to one in particular again and again, the blog of an American family that sabbaticaled in Rome. It gave me some practical advice  – most memorably, to follow Katie Parla…

Agriturismi and their people, By Tillie

We went on a road trip from Tuscany to Sicily and stayed at three agriturismi on the way. You might be wondering if you are going to read this whole blog without any idea what an agriturismo is. Well, I will not let that be true. An agriturismo is a farm that visitors can come…

Sicilian days

As a kid on the playground at PS 114 in Canarsie, Brooklyn, I regularly heard “Sicilian!” hurled as an insult. “Take a look at a map,” some kid once told me; “Italy is the boot, Sicily the shit it’s kicking.” I didn’t stop to ask: who would kick shit?  Wouldn’t that backfire? Nor did I…

Hanukkah in Israel

It might sounds strange to say, given that we’re currently spending a year abroad, but, in a certain sense, we haven’t done much traveling. Mostly, we go to one place and stay put. Even in Italy, we have, at most, taken 3-day weekends in cities just a few hours away by train. But this winter break…

Seven things we love about Rome: The Winter Edition, by Ilana

Tis the season to count your blessings and reflect on what is lovely in life. And so: an update framed as a list tied with a bow of some of our favourite (Roman) things. 1. Christmas Markets.  Who doesn’t love a good holiday craft market? Every year a sizeable selection of my kid’s Chanukah gifts are…

Four things we love about Rome

1.The fancy way they wrap things here. Check out this lovely gift. Inside? Toothpaste, purchased from our local pharmacy. Such a class act! Other items whose fancy-wrappings we have enjoyed include sliced meats (a layer of brown butcher paper followed by a layer of monogrammed paper), sliced pizza (as above with the monogrammed paper, but placed…

A Weekend in Procida: 3 vignettes. By, Ilana

The Story of the Nun on the Train We took an inter-city local from Rome to Naples, which was just over two hours. The five of us were seated around a table, and just across the aisle was a lovely English nun. The nun got interested in helping Eva & Jordan with Eva’s homework. Eva…

Day trip to Sutri, by Ilana

Last Sunday we took a wonderful day-trip to Sutri, a village about 1 1/2 hrs outside of Rome (and still within the province of Lazio) where our friend Daniela partially grew up and where her parents now live. I’d never heard of Sutri, a beautiful town with a Medieval centre, Estruscan tombs, a Roman amphitheater,…

NYC & Ocean City by Ilana

It’s 10:18 am on Tuesday morning, August 30th. In a few hours, we’ll head to the airport and fly to Rome.  But before we do, I can’t help but try to sum-up our last few weeks in NYC & Ocean City. We’ve been staying here, at my mom’s place: I didn’t grow up here but…