Gondola Ride by Margaret Duda

Gondola Ride by Margaret Duda The pointed black prow glides over reflective waterways, as the gondolier pilots us past lanterns in the dark lagoons. Your arm encircles my shoulders, your body leans into mine, and the oarsman sings of stars in the Venetian night. Inside towering medieval buildings rising on either side, light escapes fromContinue reading “Gondola Ride by Margaret Duda”

In the Piazza del Duomo, Florence, Italy by Wilda Morris

In the Piazza del Duomo, Florence, Italy by Wilda Morris On this cool November night, I sit at an outside café surrounded on two sides by five-foot glass walls. From here, I can see the Baptistery, a corner of the Giotto’s bell tower. Beyond the Duomo with its red-orange dome, my view is obscured byContinue reading “In the Piazza del Duomo, Florence, Italy by Wilda Morris”

A Culinary Tour of Genova, 1989 by Christian Ward

A Culinary Tour of Genova, 1989 by Christian Ward Stepping out of the car, wild pomegranates, full as pepper grinders, greet me. Tonight, Spaghetti Con Cozze. Tomorrow, I will help Nonno carry steaming tin foil pans of Focaccia Con Formaggio from the trattoria, their strands of melted stracchino always making spaghetti jealous. Another day, IContinue reading “A Culinary Tour of Genova, 1989 by Christian Ward”

Lariano Sleeping by Frances Roberts

Lariano Sleeping by Frances Roberts Through the metal bars of fencing green as the plants within a view of late Autumn harvest: rosemary in flower, olives and vivid capsicum, a small bay tree flourishing, melons, lettuce, parsley, rocket, whirling spirals of mating insects, figs and lemons weighing down the branches of stubborn old trees…. squatContinue reading “Lariano Sleeping by Frances Roberts”

Giardini di Villa Melzi by David Del Bourgo

Giardini di Villa Melzi by David Del Bourgo                                Bellagio, Italy His white marble eyes seem more curious than ours, overlooking the intrusion of two hundred years. A fantastic arrogance survives casual indignities: rain-cragged shoulders, a mustache chipped by a childish hand. His wife sits opposite in the gazebo, admired by everyday men like myself brushingContinue reading “Giardini di Villa Melzi by David Del Bourgo”

The Laneway by Frances Daggar Roberts

The Laneway by Frances Daggar Roberts You can measure the weight of Italian Autumn days in flowers and colours. This day is ochre-shaded with a heavy drugging perfume of ripe fruit. We walk down the narrow cobbled ways familiar now with clumps of weeds, the corners where dogs defecate, the fences where grapes hang withinContinue reading “The Laneway by Frances Daggar Roberts”

The Starlings by Jesper Svenbro

The Starlings by Jesper Svenbro Translated from the Swedish by John Matthias and Lars-Håkan Svensson Late one afternoon in October I hear them for the first time: loud-voiced palavering, whistles, murmurs, quarrels, bickering and warbling, croaking and chatter in the high plane trees of the street. The leaves are all turning yellow this time ofContinue reading “The Starlings by Jesper Svenbro”

Ode to an Encyclopedia by James Arthur

Ode to an Encyclopediaby James Arthur O hefty hardcover on the built-in shelf in my parents’ living room,O authority stamped on linen paper, molted from your dust jacket,Questing Beast of blue and gold, you were my companion on beige afternoons that came slanting through the curtainsbehind the rough upholstered chair. You knew how to trimContinue reading “Ode to an Encyclopedia by James Arthur”

Syracuse at Dusk by Frances Daggar Roberts

Syracuse at Duskby Frances Daggar Roberts Seated at art-glass tablesby the muted tug of sea…lights across the bayand the feeling of centuriespreceding us.Battered bases to the buildingssome as old as Grecian conquest.Rough cobbled stonesand the evening stroll of families.Wine in our glasses slowly sipped. PHOTO: Fountain of Arethusa, Syracuse, Sicily, Italy. Photo by Luca NContinue reading “Syracuse at Dusk by Frances Daggar Roberts”

Tasting Lucca by Joan Leotta

Tasting Luccaby Joan Leotta Humming Puccini, wewalk the wide path on topof Lucca’s circular walluntil we reach the market steps.I descend to buy red beans, farro,Parmigiano, tomatoes, pancetta.In our apartment,I blend and magnifyflavors with a bit of thyme.As our soup simmers,the aroma transports us frommodern Lucca to its days as aconquered Etruscan outpost ofRome, soldiersContinue reading “Tasting Lucca by Joan Leotta”