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Blog posts tagged with 'rome'

In Other Words
Language can be seen as a barrier to travel, or it can be part of the adventure. For Jhumpa Lahiri, author of bestselling short story collections and novels like Interpreter of Maladies and The Namesake, it is the latter. In her latest book Lahiri abandons not only her preferred genre of fiction but even the comfort of the English language and embarks on a new journey to document, in Italian, the process of learning a language.
The Traveling Pope
If you can’t make it to see the pontiff as he visits Philadelphia, New York City and Washington D.C. this month, you can read about the life of Pope Francis and the history of the Vatican in these fine books. Or, better yet, plan your next trip to Vatican City! Pope Francis and the New Vatican. National Geographic photographer David Yoder spent six months ensconced in the Vatican to produce this vivid and intimate portrait of "the people's pope." His extraordinary images -- including the Sistine Chapel with the Pope alone on Christmas Day -- capture the pontiff's public life and personal crusades as well as the inner workings of the Catholic Church.
Grosseto, Italy
Kindly contributed by Italy correspondent for The Economist John Hooper, who explores Italy -- its baffling contradictions, unique character and contemporary culture -- in his new, illuminating portrait The Italians. A must-read for anyone seeking to understand the country as it exists today.
  For the traveller, unexpected discoveries are commonplace; unexpected journeys are rarer. I had been at a conference in Siena. On the night before my departure, there was one of those apocalyptic storms that break surprisingly often in the skies over Italy. At the railway station the next day they told me the line to Florence was impassable -- hopelessly flooded. The only way back to Rome was by way of Grosseto.
The Italians
“No one would choose to start a book at Porta Pia,” John Hooper’s new book begins. And of course, that is exactly where his cultural portrait, The Italians, places the reader, in what Hooper calls “one of the least attractive corners of central Rome,” where Michelangelo’s gate stands among a barrage of architectural styles, each evocative of a different era. The confused aesthetic of the area surrounding Porta Pia might not be the most picturesque landscape Italy has to offer the traveler, but Hooper manages to find something essential in the mix of modern and ancient buildings.
Parma
Kindly contributed by Wallis Wilde-Menozzi, an ardent Midwesterner transplanted to Italy where she has lived for decades. The author returns to her "Rome Years" in The Other Side of the Tiber, a soulful meditation on the Eternal City and other Italian cities that seeped into her sense of self, long before she permanently settled in Parma. Here she describes a treasure, worth a pilgrimage to that city.  
The Other Side of the Tiber
Well-traveled, well-versed and well-spoken, Wallis Wilde-Menozzi, who hails from Wisconsin, has lived in Parma, Italy for many decades, making an art of studying Italian culture. Her memoir, The Other Side of the Tiber, focuses not on Parma but on what she lovingly calls the “Rome Years.” Fleeing a failing marriage, Wilde-Menozzi impulsively left a tenure-track job at Oxford University and took up residence in a single room in the Arco degli Acetari with a single goal: to become a writer.