Deacon Dom & I had dinner this evening in Rome. Mushroom risotto from Masto’s in the Testaccio neighborhood!
Cin cin, Sunday brunch in Roma with my dear friend Joan Lewis! Our time together is always such a gift. When you come to Rome check out Homebaked Restaurant near St. Peter’s!
Celebrities..major ones such as actors and actresses, and some very minor minor peeps in the public eye, such as yours truly, are asked to sign a wine bottle at Pagnanellis. A famous and amazing restaurant in Castel Gandolfo. It was an honor. I hope you can visit this fine establishment when you come to the Lazio region of Italy.
Getting ready to make my signature!
What a blessing to be able to pray in front of the miraculous Crucifix at the church of San Marcello al Corso. This is the same Crucifix the pope used for special blessings during COVID.
What a blessing to visit with Dr. Barbara Jatta, director of the Vatican Museums – Musei Vaticani tonight. She is the first female director and so very gracious and humble.
The Gallery of Maps in the Vatican Museums – Musei Vaticani! Tonight our Michigan chapter of the Vatican Patrons of the Arts is wrapping up its pilgrimage. We are being treated to an incredible night tour of the Museums!
At the Vatican Museums on our night tour!
Santa Catarina in the shadow of the Castel Sant’ Angelo along the Tiber River down the street from St. Peter’s.
Blessings from St. Peter’s!
Ah Roma, no matter how many times we return we never get tired of this view along the Tiber.
We happened to stumble on this stunning 5-star rated winery/hotel in Tuscany near San Gimignano, Italy – Tenuta Torciano – Hotel Vecchio Asilo with panoramic view of the Tuscan hills.
Tenuta Torciano winery
Beautiful Tuscan sunset!
We also stopped in magnificent Volterra very high in the Tuscan hills beautiful churches and jaw dropping scenery God showing off again!
Every time someone puts cream in pasta carbonara an Italian chef dies! Carbonara is made of eggs, cheese, and a good bacon. As in the pasta I had tonight at Tenuta Torciano restaurant in Tuscany.
We stopped at the Euro Chocolate Festival in Perugia on our way to Rome! A girl can never have enough scarves or shoes especially chocolate ones!
Chocolate Shoes to take home!
Lovely chocolate fountain!
We are back in the “Motherland”, this time we are headed north and having great fun under the Tuscan sun on our first Vespa tour! It is something to put on your Italy bucket list!
Another Tuscan Sunset!
A little selfie from Certaldo, a hilltop town in #Tuscany, not far from San Gimignano.
Tenuta Torciano also offers cooking classes. What a blast!
Dom and I felt like we were back in our Italian grandmother’s kitchens!
So much fun making ravoli!
The most amazing pasta ever!
The beauty here is just amazing!
Rome at sunset!
Another beautiful Roman sunset.
Our new friend Pierreluigi from Tenuta Torciano wineries took us for a grand tour on the top of one of the famous towers of San Gimignano. Grazie Pierreluigi for your warmth and amazing hospitality.
On the top of one of the famous towers of San Gimignano.
The view was incredible!
A toast with a Aperol Spritz in Siena’s Piazza del Campo!
The view was incredible!
What history here!
Mass at the beautiful Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere!
Arrivederci Roma! As always, we stop at the Trevi Fountain to toss in a coin and say ciao Roma, until next time!
At the Trevi Fountain!
Arno River, Florence
Inside St. Andrews Cathedral, Amalfi
St. Andrews Cathedral in Amalfi
Terrace of Palazzo Avino, Ravello
Villa Rufolo, Ravello
Ristorante ‘o Parrucchiano la Favorita in Sorrento.
On Tiberina Island in the Tiber River!
Enjoying wine in Rome!
My homemade tiramisu!
Learning to make homemade tiramisu!
Making pizza with Chef Monica.
Fresh caught Branzino with Rosemary and Olive Oil
Branzino prepared at the table at Il Ciociare.
Only in Italy do you eat pasta made directly inside a pecorino cheese wheel that’s first baked in the oven to melt the cheese and then mix your pasta in like a bowl!
With the amazing Joan Lewis and Corporate Travel president John Hale.
Enjoying the hospitality of the amazing Annibale butcher shop!
Filming at Rome’s most famous butcher shop – Annibale. A seven generation family butcher shop.
My morning Cappuccino in Rome!
Must start your day at the best local cafe in Rome, Cafe Ripetta!
Members of our party getting ready to take off!
My flight to Rome!
Delta’s Rapid Covid testing area in JFK airport
Rome here I come!
JFK airport – The plane getting ready to fly us to sunny Italy!
It was such a lovely stroll on the Piazza Navona early this morning! Saw the famous Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi (By 17th Century master artist, Gian Lorenzo Bernini) named after 4 rivers where papal authority had spread: Nile (Africa), Danube (Europe), Ganges (Asia), and Rio de la Plata (Americas).
Such fun making Italian gelato today at the famous Giolitti factory in Rome, Italy! Founded in 1890, their gelato was made with milk from their own pastures in the Roman countryside. This famous creamery also supplied gelato to the Italian royal family!
Filming in front of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome
The plaque outside the room at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas – Angelicum where Pope St. John Paul II defended his doctoral dissertation.
We broadcasted live from the Angelicum in Rome, Italy in the very room in which Saint John Paul II defended his doctoral dissertation in 1948.
The room in which Pope St. John Paul II defended his Doctoral Dissertation at St. Thomas Aquinas University (the Angelicum) in Rome.
Interviewing Fr. Kevin Lixey, International Director of the Patrons of the Arts in the Vatican Museums
Interviewing Vatican Museums Director, Dr. Barbara Jatta.
With Dr. Barbara Jatta, Director of Vatican Museums & Fr. Kevin Lixey, International Director of the Patrons of the Arts in the Vatican Museums. I’m so grateful to John Hale of Corporate Travel Service for working tirelessly in arranging this and other wonderful interviews this week!
With Fr. Benedict Croell, OP, Director of Development & Mission Advancement at the Angelicum.
Excited to tour Chiesa del Gesù the first Jesuit church built in Rome – w/Art Historian Dr. Elizabeth Lev to see the tomb of St. Ignatius of Loyola, Founder of the Jesuits.
Good Morning from the Vatican!
So excited to go to the Vatican today!
St. Peter’s Square
In front of the Raphael tapestry “Blinding of Elymas,” restoration sponsored by the Michigan Chapter of Vatican Patrons.
Thank you Michigan Chapter of Vatican Patrons for your generous donation to the restoration of the Raphael tapestry “Blinding of Elymas” in the Vatican Museums!
Beautiful tour with the Vatican Patrons this morning at the Vatican Museums!
So thrilled to be seeing the Vatican Museum’s “Pinocoteca” (Painting Gallery)! Which includes works by Giotto, Raphael, Leonardo da Vinci, Caravaggio, and Bernini.
At the Vatican Museums with the Director, Dr. Barbara Jatta!
Very grateful to Vatican Museums Director, Dr. Barbara Jatta, who generously gave us a rare special tour. We are truly honored by her hospitality!
Broadcasting Live from the Val d’Orcia in #Tuscany with Guido Dispenza, Wine Shop Manager and Fabio Manduca, Corporate Travel’s driver and guide, at the Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco!
Had the chance to attend the Papal Audience today. A nice crowd of pilgrims gathered below the window of the Apostolic Palace but there were many more pilgrims across the square many of them in the shade. And very short lines afterward to get into St. Peter’s. Great time to come to Rome!
So many tourists, including Catholic pilgrims, walk by this amazing sculpture of St. Catherine of Siena without ever noticing her. It is in the shadow of the Castel Sant’ Angelo along the Tiber River down the street from St. Peter’s. This particular image of Catherine means a lot to me, and I talk about an incredible experience related to it in my book “Girlfriends and Other Saints.” St. Catherine, Doctor of the Church and Patron of Italy and Europe pray for us!
Wrapping up my stay in the Eternal City. This morning I attended Mass at the beautiful church of Santa Cecilia in Trastevere. There is also a crypt below where this great and young martyr is buried. Next to St. Peter’s it’s among my favorite Rome churches in my favorite neighborhood.
The breathtaking façade of the Orvieto Duomo; home to the Eucharistic Miracle of Bolsena and the basis for the Feast of Corpus Christi in the Catholic Church.
Charming Trastevere District of Rome
Perfect time for your la dolce vita moment at the famous Trevi Fountain. No crowds!
The stunning Bougainvillea fiori can be seen everywhere in Italy this time of year especially the quaint streets of Rome’s Trastevere neighborhood.
Under the Tuscan Sun. Beautiful ceramics abound in Tuscany reminding us of Sunny Italy such as this piece at our hotel in the Val D’Orcia, located in the center of this breathtaking region.