CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 10, 1986 |
It was our last night in Europe. We were at a restaurant in Rome called El Presidente. I can't tell you exactly where it is because I can't tell you exactly where anything is in Rome, and neither can the Romans. That's why the Empire fell. "Ummm, this is delicious," my wife was saying with a brave smile. Moved by generosity and good will, she was eating a clam which moments before had been alive on her plate. "You ate it?" I asked, impressed. I had never seen anyone eat anything live before.
October 11, 2009 |
Along the wide, straight Via dei Fori Imperiali near the Colosseum, sightseers often stop to look at a series of maps showing the growth of the Roman Empire: just a dot on the west coast of the Italian peninsula in the 8th century BC, larger in the next two panels, then at its most expansive in the fourth tablet when the Roman world stretched from Spain to Mesopotamia. Nothing remains of the fifth map placed here in 1936 to commemorate Italy's conquest of Ethiopia under the direction of Benito Mussolini.
July 31, 2011 |
Cleopatra's Moon A Novel Vicky Alvear Shecter Arthur A. Levine Books: 368 pp., $18.99, ages 13 and up Eyes ringed with kohl, her lithe body draped in a tunic, Cleopatra VII has been memorialized ad nauseam in numerous art forms, from paintings and opera to film and a seemingly endless string of books. The reason is simple: The last queen of Egypt was an exotic blend of power and beauty whose brief life came to a tragic end when she committed suicide with the help of an asp. Now her only daughter, Cleopatra Selene, is getting the historical fiction treatment in a beautiful new novel for young adults, "Cleopatra's Moon.
July 29, 2013 |
RIO DE JANEIRO - He kissed seemingly countless babies hoisted to his popemobile. He exchanged white beanies with people in the crowds and caught the soccer jerseys, flags and who-knows-what-else hurled his direction. He scolded the Brazilian elite, both ecclesiastic and secular, on the many ways they are failing their people. Pope Francis, first pontiff from the Americas, has been both grandfatherly icon and stern cajoler, combining charm with serious teachings, in a weeklong pilgrimage to the world's largest Roman Catholic country, which wrapped up Sunday.
November 21, 2010 |
Reporting from New York ? Today, when change is rapid, tastes are seasonal and information arrives by the nanosecond, it can be difficult to fathom an artist like Jan Gossart (circa 1478-1532). A gifted 16th-century follower of Jan van Eyck, perhaps the most brilliant painter of Northern Europe's early Renaissance, Gossart changed the way art looked in his influential corner of the world. He did it more deeply, more profoundly than any other artist in the region of the Burgundian Netherlands -- but it didn't happen overnight.
January 1, 2014 |
ROME - In a verdant valley east of Rome, Fabrizio Baldi admires a forgotten stretch of a two-tier Roman aqueduct, a stunning example of the emperor Hadrian's 2nd century drive to divert water from rural springs to his ever-thirstier capital. But Baldi, 36, is less interested in the graceful arches than in where the aqueduct's span ends, hidden in a wooded slope across a stream, halfway up the side of the valley. Scrambling through thick brambles, he comes across a large hole in the ground that appears to be the start of a tunnel.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 22, 2010
Robert Katz Historian wrote 'Death in Rome' Robert Katz, 77, a writer and historian whose meticulous reconstruction of an infamous Nazi massacre in Rome brought him fame and sparked a trial over whether he defamed the pope, died Wednesday in a hospital near his home in Arezzo, Italy. His wife, Beverly Gerstel, said he died of complications from cancer surgery. Katz wrote extensively on 20th-century Italian history in books, essays and articles, some of which were made into films.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 11, 2013 |
Erich Priebke, a former Nazi SS captain who evaded arrest for nearly 50 years after taking part in one of the worst atrocities by German occupiers in Italy during World War II, died Friday in Rome. He was 100. Priebke was finally extradited to Italy from Argentina in 1995 to face trial for the 1944 massacre, and he was sentenced to life in prison. Because of his age, he was allowed to serve that sentence under house arrest at the home of his lawyer, Paolo Giachini. Giachini announced the death and released a final interview conducted with Priebke in July during which the German denied that Nazis gassed Jews during the Holocaust and accused the West of having fabricated the crimes to minimize the Allies' own abuses during the war. Priebke was tried and convicted for his role in the 1944 massacre of 335 civilians by Nazi forces at the Ardeatine Caves outside Rome.
July 12, 2009 |
Never mind gelato. Italian sandwiches are cheap fast food for the gods, constructed with equal concern for flavor and aesthetics. Take the selection at Pizza e Mortadella at 279 Via Cavour in Rome. These babies are stuffed with all the delicacies of the Italian kitchen: prosciutto, mozzarella, salami, tomatoes, grilled eggplant, artichoke hearts, mushrooms, tuna, salmon, even chicken salad -- although the thought of mayo makes some Italians gag, Bill Guion says.
October 4, 2009 |
I hear the waiter saying them, the first words of the story that brought me to this milk bar. "What's it going to be then, eh?" My answer: Bring me No. 66, the Diavolo -- "devil" in Italian. Five minutes later, he's back with a chocolate milkshake, whipped cream on top, absinthe on the bottom. Its menu number is almost right. Add another "6" and it matches the concoction's demonic effect. No, I didn't see green fairies -- the alleged absinthe experience. That would take absinthe with a strong dose of thujone, a chemical found in the wormwood plant.