Cultural essays & personal stories about Rome

Going more in-depth on some aspects of Roman history, life, culture, and travel experiences

Bucatini all'Amatriciana, one of my favorite Italian dishes (Photo by stu_spivack)

All the best there is to eat (and drink) in Rome

Coda alla vaccinara (oxtail stew), a traditional dish made from the quinto quarto (Photo by emanuele75)

How slaughterhouse workers turned scraps into classic dishes


Lest you think my labeling the Gianicolo "one of my favorite spots in all of Rome" is hyperbole, I submit the purplest piece of prose I've ever penned, a veritable love letter to the view from up here at night that I wrote back in college, when I was about to leave life in Rome behind for a second time.

Befane at the Piazza Navona Christmas Market (Photo by Daniele Ciabattoni)
Entirely the Wrong Witch
Rome: Tiber Bend

La Befana, Babbo Natale, and the shifting focus of Christmas traditions in Italy


The legendary twins who founded Rome—and the she-wolf that raised them


The talking statues of Rome

The stern end of the Isola Tiberina

The sights in Rome featured in the Dan Brown novel (and Tom Hanks movie) Angels & Demons


What was it really like being a gladiator?