Category Archives: In a Strange Land

‘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

‘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

Who’s the Real ‘Mouse’? Or How to Emasculate an Awards Show Host, Loren-Style

While welcoming Sophia Loren to the stage during the David di Donatello Awards Ceremony on Tuesday, host Paolo Ruffini, and actor from Livorno, addressed the legendary actress with an uncouth vernacular comment: ‘Lei è sempre una topa meravigliosa.’ To translate … Continue reading

Posted in Curiosità, In a Strange Land | 2 Comments

Hey Italy, A Truce?

I am an ardent critic of the country I call home. Depending on various factors—fiasco-heralding headlines, a surly barista’s complete disregard for how I like my coffee, the spectacle of cleavage that passes for Italian television—my esteem of Italy oscillates … Continue reading

Posted in In a Strange Land | 2 Comments

‘The Peaceful Invasion’: Us, Them, and Those in Between

Luigi Barzini’s ‘The Italians’ opens with a chapter dedicated to Italy’s foreign visitors, from those who land on the peninsula knowing precisely what they wish to do, see, and taste, and who waste no time setting about the business of … Continue reading

Posted in In a Strange Land | Tagged , , | 4 Comments