giovedì 21 marzo 2013

Palestrina, closer to Rome than you think

Here are some pictures that I've taken in Palestrina where I rent my holiday home "Altavista".
I've been in Italy for 16 years (that means 16 years of marriage to an incredible and extraordinary Italian man). I met Umberto while I was working as a volunteer in Africa, teaching English in the Peace Corps. Meeting him was the strangest thing that ever happened to me. I had obtained my college degree and left a month later for Eritrea where I was teacher trained and language trained and enthusiastically jumped into a new role. One that seemed important because I was helping so many students, yet at the end of the day, I was the one who was taught some of the most important life lessons. And when I met Umberto in Asmara in 1996, I could sense he was someone special. Someone whom I couldn't just let slip through my fingers and hope to see again some day. He brought me to his home-town, Palestrina, where a drafty apartment without furniture in a 500 year-old building became my first Italian home. A lot has changed since those days, including two kids, various travels, a 5-year stint in Florence and...
Have a look at my photographs of Palestrina--its' a beautiful place to visit and closer to Rome than you think!

domenica 10 marzo 2013

Canale Monterano, Lazio

I would highly recommend a day trip to Canale Monterano, located in the province of Rome, near the lake of Bracciano. Enter the Riserva Regionale Naturale di Monterano ( and immerse yourself in a spectacular naturalistic setting. Hike through the woods and follow the flow of a sulphur water spring with its waterfalls and cloudy pools; you’ll come across various Etruscan aqueducts along the way, as well as volcanic rock deposits, sulfur gas spouts in the ground, an abandoned sulfur mine and copious sulfur deposits. A short walk up through the Etruscan staircase carved into the rock wall, and you arrive at the abandoned city of Monterano with it’s enormous aqueducts and the fascinating convent of San Buonaventura. Back down through the forest you’ll pass Etruscan tombs, and up through the countryside for many more Etruscan tombs (many still uncovered, other partially covered or uncovered and used over the centuries as homes and stalls). Beautiful park, especially if you enjoy hiking. We hiked for a full day, however there are various paths of different length to suit anyone. Here are some of my pictures: