Author Archives: Amy Gulick

‘I Am The Girl You Know’: Ashley Olsen and the Cruel Gaze of Social Media

The murder of Ashley Olsen last week has shaken and saddened the Florentine community. Not surprisingly. By all accounts (I did not know her), Olsen was a talented, kind-spirited young woman, well-known and well-liked in her Florence neighborhood, with many … Continue reading

Posted in Current Events, In a Strange Land | 34 Comments

Pro Loco Grezzano: ‘In Favor of the Place’ I Call Home

If you follow this blog at all, you’ll have no doubt noticed that I’m rather fond of the sleepy Tuscan village I call home. Not unlike countless small towns throughout Italy, beneath Grezzano’s homespun appearance lies centuries of historical intrigue, legend … Continue reading

Posted in Chasing the Good Life, Local History | Tagged | 4 Comments

Farewell Lucia Boetto Testori

One of the last surviving participants in the Italian Resistance died today. Lucia Boetto was born in 1920 near Cuneo. During the Resistance, together with her future husband Renato Testori, Lucia was the official liaison between the Piedmont CLN (Comitato … Continue reading

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‘Fare San Michele’: Moving Day for the Métayer

Fare San Michele is an Italian idiom synonymous with ‘moving day’. In the mezzadria era, contracts between farm laborers and landowners expired on September 29, which is also the feast day of Saint Michael (aka Michaelmas), and thus it was on … Continue reading

Posted in Curiosità, Holidays & Customs | Leave a comment

‘Tanto Sono Donna’ Part II: Misquotation and the Power of Media Manipulation

I spent the better part of yesterday reading about and observing reactions to Alice Sabatini’s gaffe during the Miss Italia pageant, in which the contestant purportedly said the following: “Vorrei essere nata nel 1942, per vivere la Seconda Guerra Mondiale. Sui … Continue reading

Posted in In a Strange Land, World War II in Italy | Leave a comment

‘Tanto Sono Donna’: A Look at the Miss Italia Mess

Yesterday an 18-year-old woman named Alice Sabatini was crowned Miss Italia in the national beauty pageant that’s been running in Italy since 1939, and whose past participants include Sofia Loren (a finalist in 1950, at age 14). During the show, … Continue reading

Posted in In a Strange Land, World War II in Italy | 1 Comment

Borgo San Lorenzo: A Wartime Snapshot

Borgo San Lorenzo was liberated on September 11, 1944. Days later, Allies would break through the Gothic Line in a series of crucial battles fought in the mountains to the north. This photograph shows locals returning to Borgo with their belongings after … Continue reading

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