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Showing posts from May, 2018


Whatever the exact financial situation of the city of Siena and its famous nearly broke bank - the fact that free concerts are back on Piazza del Campo is a promising sign! In the summer of 2012 ,   Patti Smith  sang 'People have the Power' on Piazza del Campo. The song and her fabulous concert in Siena feature in the book soundtrack - and hopefully also in the future film adaptation - of my memoir  Across the Big Blue Sea .  But while a spectacular full moon rose behind Torre del Mangia the night of Patti's concert, the city itself had just started its descent into a longlasting financial nightmare. The Monte dei Paschi bank -  founded in  1472 it is the world's oldest continually operating bank -  turned from  prodigy into Italy's problem child (more about this here ), and with the bank's debacle, the free concerts on Piazza del Campo had lost their main sponsor.  Nina may not be a world-star, but she's definitely one of the most talented and s


Five years ago I interviewed American Newsweek journalist and NYT bestselling author  Nina Burleigh about her work after her talk at the Siena Art Institute. Little did I know then that I'd write a book myself one day (and that Nina Burleigh would endorse it with the kindest and most thoughtful words). I'm looking forward to discuss 'Across the Big Blue Sea' and migration (my own and the one of the people I worked with at our Tuscan refugee home) at the beautiful headquarters of the Siena Art Institute (which is based in the Tartuca neighbourhood, one of my favorite contrade in Siena). ACROSS THE BIG BLUE SEA book presentation  Siena Art Institue - May 8, 2018, 6 pm via T. Pendola 37