Hosts Sara, Jessica, and Michelle discuss the Pope’s first tweet, pot on Italian balconies, another round in the Naples trash crisis, & an Italian company making the news for firing only women. Then we talk with artist Alberto Alfonso and poet Edward Mayes about their unique collaboration, which will be presented at this year’s Tuscan Sun Festival in Cortona.
Cuban born Alberto Alfonso is a founding principal and President of Alfonso Architects, an award winning 35 member architecture firm located in Florida. He has recently been appointed the Interim Program Director of Architecture and Design at the USF Polytechnic. Alfonso has exhibited his paintings in the US and Italy and they are permanently installed in the Nielsen Media Global Technology Center, the Mission of St. Mary Chapel and Carmel Café.
Ed Mayes by Frances Mayes
Edward Mayes is a poet and scholar whose works have appeared in many prestigious publications, including the American Poetry Review and Iowa Review. His books have received many awards such as the Juniper Prize and the Bay Area Book Reviewers Association Award; he’s also received the Cecil Hemley Memorial Award and Gordon Barber Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America, and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Poetry. He lives in North Carolina and Cortona, Italy, with his wife, writer Frances Mayes.
In this episode, hosts Sara, Jessica, & Michelle talk about the Louvre not loaning out the Mona Lisa, a new hotel tax soon to be implemented in Florence & Venice, and new spots in Italy added to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list. Then we speak with Rabbi Barbara Aiello, the first woman Rabbi in Italy.
Rabbi Barbara Aiello is the first woman rabbi and first non-orthodox rabbi in Italy. She lives and works in Calabria, in the small village of Serrastretta where she has organized the first active Jewish synagogue in the “Mezzogiorno” in 500 years since Inquisition times.
Rabbi Barbara is the director of the Italian Jewish Cultural Center of Calabria (IjCCC), an organization that helps Italians and Italian Americans discover their Jewish roots. Prior to her rabbinic ordination, Rabbi Barbara created The Kids on the Block international puppet program and currently is host of the syndicated radio show, “The Radio Rabbi,” on flagship station WGUL AM 860 in Tampa, Florida and heard around the world on podcast. Her website is www.rabbibarbara.com.
This week, hosts Sara, Jessica & Michelle have updates about the Jersey Shore in Florence and the garbage crisis in Naples, and then we speak to American expat Valerie Fortney Schneider about the Basilicata region.
Special Guest Valerie Fortney Schneider is a travel professional and freelance writer who moved from Albuquerque, New Mexico to Italy in 2006. She has worked in the travel and tourism industry for nearly two decades and writes about all things Italy for travel publications and websites. She and her husband Bryan bought a small house in Valerie’s ancestral region of Basilicata, where she selflessly samples local delicacies and tours hidden havens for the sake of writing and travel planning. Valerie and Bryan also recently launched a travel and property assistance business, My Bella Basilicata.