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A Mind's Eye in Italy

My five-year adventure in Italy came to an end a year ago, when I returned to the US to live once more. Cats also made the journey; accumulated stuff was shipped back by boat. Altogether, the leaving was an undertaking almost as huge as the going, in 1998, from San Francisco. After a year of general malaise, I now feel generally content with my new life. The Italy years will always affect me, of course, and be a source of memory and inspiration. --- Nancy Lytle, Santa Fe, NM, 2004*


Dismantling Italy: Italy got constructed in my mind and heart in 1993, when I appeared as a presenter at an arts festival in Rieti and made a deep, joyous and confusing connection. Five years later ...

Florence, A Bus With a View: Many visitors to Florence prefer to hoof it from one glorious site to the next, not an impossible goal given the compactness of the centro, where every block seems to present an opportunity for awe. However, there is a case to be made for ATAF, the city bus system ...

Picnics in Florence: Where to Find the Tastiest Treats, Where to Eat Them. On a glorious spring, summer or fall day, the Florence visitor can become a part of la vita bella by lunching oudoors on great tidbits while in the midst of the city.

Outdoor Cafes in Florence: The Search for the perfect Mojito: Between May and November, Florence opens its doors and sets up outside with gusto. The tables and chairs come out, the umbrellas go up and life is good.

Bodynapping Italian-Style: Interesting News from March, 2001: The coffin and body of a 92-year old man was stolen from the family crypt on the shores of Lago Maggiore by persons unknown.

Creative Use of the Fonino: While I was living in Sorrento, my landlord Andrea invited me to lunch with him, his Mom visiting from Tuscany, and his cousin Riccardo.

Ponza Is For Sea Lovers Only: Emerging from a sea-inspired reverie, I saw that the island was beautiful.

Tales from La Terrazza: Part One December 27, 1998, leaving San Francisco and moving to a villa in Sorrento, Italy.

Blogissimo di Nancy: The blog that Nancy kept in 2004 and 2005 for her Italy and France trip. Planning and posts while traveling.

Travel Notes for Italy Trip 2005: A week in Taormina, 10 days in Trastevere, Rome in March 2005.

Travel Notes for Paris Trip 2005: Nine days in Paris in March 2005. Notes about Rue Mouffetard.

The Time Between: Can an Ex-pat Truly Return? Reflections after her first trip back to Italy and France after moving back to the US.

Nancy's Paintings: Larger versions of Nancy's paintings used with her essays.

Martha's Road in Tuscany, October 2001, water color by Nancy Lytle

Martha's Road in Tuscany, October 2001, water color by Nancy Lytle

* Nancy Lytle passed away on August 10, 2005 in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She is missed by her family and friends.

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